It started in the 70s with embedded internet then morphed into the Internet of Things (Iot) in 1999, but the Internet of Things didn’t really gain traction until 2010 when Google started StreetView and the Chinese government announced that IoT would be part of its 12th Five Year Plan. From then onwards, the Internet of Things has gone from strength to strength and become a standard part of modernity.
Whether it’s a fitness wearable, an embedded medical device, or a smart thermostat, most people in developed countries own at least one IoT enabled device, that is, any digitally connected “thing” that communicates and interacts with the internet network. Two of the biggest changes we’ve seen in recent years is to our homes and our vehicles.
Smart home devices mean more convenience than we’ve ever encountered before. Asking an Alexa to dull the lights, controlling our fridges via an app, or managing our sprinkler systems from halfway across the world gives us a unique way of living in tandem with technology and brings us closer to the next steps in transhuman development. Yet for some, smart homes have become problematic on more than one level.
In a New York Times article from 2018, reporters revealed how IoT devices in the home were used to intimidate and coerce the inhabitants. There’s also the very real threat of bad actors who seek to expose vulnerabilities in a network and use those against the homeowner, usually for financial gain. If a fish tank can give hackers access to a casino’s systems, our home IoT networks might not be as safe and secure as we imagine. From disabling smart security cameras, it’s a hop skip and a digital jump to other aspects of the network.
Our homes aren’t the only concern either. Unless drivers choose an older model vehicle, there’s a very high chance their cars are smart IoT devices too. Think of all the GPS navigation systems in use and the past driving data your car knows about. As a Washington Post investigation revealed, intelligent cars know a lot more than we give them credit for.
It’s easy to see what so many people are afraid of newer technologies, and why they choose to eschew them entirely. But it’s not rational to do so, the world is changing and so is humanity, and we will continue to develop alongside the technology we’ve worked so hard for. It makes our lives easier, enriches the day today, and offers an exciting, revolutionary future.
The trick is to turn to technology for solutions. The tools of modernity are only as good as the safety solutions they are paired with. So go ahead and install a smart thermostat, an intelligent fish tank, and whatever other smart devices your home needs. Ensure your personal and data safety with a VPN for your router. Much like a single-device VPN software program, cleverly designed VPN routers cover all the devices on a home IoT network and encrypt all data transmissions, making sure that the only people with access to the network are the owners themselves.
Guest Post by Chris Jones