What is Home Automation, and How Does it Work? The Complete Guide in 2022

Home automation uses technology to make tasks around the house easier and keep your home safer. Technology provides convenience and helps in saving time and money. Home automation enables you to do many simple tasks. These tasks include automatically adjusting lights in different rooms in your home, locking doors remotely, or even adjusting the water level and temperature in your bathtubs just by using your voice.

What is Home Automation, and How Does it Work? The Complete Guide in 2022

What is Home Automation?

Home automation is the interconnection of smart devices that can communicate via the internet. These devices use sensors, controllers, and actuators to perform tasks in your home. It is possible to control smart devices remotely using your digital platform like a smartphone.

Home automation may seem like a recent technological discovery, but that’s not true. It has been around for many years. In fact, the first home automation was first introduced in 1975. The technology at that time was mainly for lamps and appliances.

Today technology is more sophisticated and can do more tasks in different rooms in your house. More people have experienced the benefits of smart homes. Statistics show that the number of people using home automation is expected to rise to 84.9 million by 2026.

Here is a guide on home automation and how you can use your smart appliances in the different rooms of your house.

  1. Smart Thermostats

    Smart thermostats allow you to regulate your home's temperature using your smartphone. It has features that enable you to control your home's temperature even when you are outside the house.

    Smart thermostats also have learning capabilities. After setting your home temperature for some time, a smart thermostat can learn and set temperatures automatically. This means you will not have to set the temperature anymore.

  2. Smart Bathtubs

    Bathtub automation is another feature of a smart bathroom that can add value to your home. Technology enables you to fill up your bathtub with water using voice commands.

    This makes bathing comfortable and relaxing. Having a clawfoot tub makes your bathroom look aesthetically appealing. It is also a place you can soak, take long, deep baths, and relax after a tiring day.

    All you have to do is ask Alexa to fill your vintage clawfoot tub to the right depth and temperature. It is also possible to drain the tub with voice commands, so you don't need to worry about flooding your bathroom. A modern bathtub with a classic bathtub design –– what a twist!

  3. Smart Speakers.

    Smart Speaker

    Internet-enabled speakers allow you to control various devices in your home using your voice. These smart speakers use assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google.

    These home assistant device allow you to lock and unlock devices like thermostats or music without touching them. If you are taking a bath in your acrylic clawfoot tub, you do not need to worry about your wet hands before adjusting the lights, faucets, or music.

    Smart speakers give you a touchless experience when turning on faucets or lights in your bathroom. Less touch also means you lower the spread of germs and promote a healthier way of operation in your bathroom.

  4. Smart Doorbell

    A doorbell connected to the internet can perform more functions than a traditional doorbell. It can improve your security at home.

    Such smart doorbells have videos that help you see who is at your door. They can also sense and alert you if someone is at your front door.

  5. Light Automation

    Smart Light

    Turning lights on and off in your home from any location is convenient and saves energy and money. Light automation enables you to control lights using an app on your phone.

    You can turn them on, off, or make lights dimmer or sharper. Adjust the lighting of any room of your house depending on the activity in that room.

  6. Smart Fridge

    A high-tech refrigerator can do more than keep your food cold. A smart fridge can also detect the items in your fridge and provide you with important information. For example, it can tell you the expiry date of your food.

    Also, a smart fridge can send notifications alerting you of the foods that are about to expire so you can consider using them first. Another feature is searching for recipes online, creating a grocery list, and coordinating your family’s schedule.

  7. Smart Dust Bin

    A smart dust bin has an automated lead that you can open and close with a voice command. It provides a touchless solution that helps you cook and clean at the same time.

    If your hands are covered with flour or oil, you can use your voice to help you throw away what you don’t need on your working surface. A smart dust bin also helps to reduce the spread of germs with its touchless solution.

  8. Water-Leak Detectors

    A water-weak detector can help you stop water disasters in your home. The leak detectors have sensors that notify you of excess moisture or leakage in your home.

    Install a leak detector in areas likely to leak and go unnoticed, like in your basement. Other areas include your kitchen sink or the clawfoot tubs with showers. A leak detector will lessen the problems associated with plumbing.

How Does Home Automation Work?

Home automation is possible when digital devices can automatically perform specific functions. The key components in such devices include:

  1. Sensors

    Sensors help to monitor the environment. They detect things like temperature levels, light, and motion. Sensors also collect data that enables devices to know what to do. This makes it possible for you to automate different functions in your home.

  2. Controllers

    Controllers collect data and perform a specific action. It receives input and provides output. It acts as a motherboard.

  3. Actuators

    Actuators allow the movement, control, or access of devices like a light switch, valve, or motors. This enables you to monitor devices and access them remotely through an app.

Key Takeaway

The advancement of technology brings convenience and makes performing routine tasks easier. Devices like water leak detectors can lower your water bill and reduce plumbing problems. This helps to save money.

Home automation also helps you customize your space according to your taste. Turning your clawfoot slipper tub into a place of relaxation and comfort helps you unwind and feel refreshed in a personalized way.

You can also control other devices using your voice when soaking in your bathtub. Such technology addition can help raise the value of your home. Many devices in your home can be automated to help save time and money and provide convenience.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

What is Home Automation, and How Does it Work? The Complete Guide in 2022