23rd May 2021

How safe is your data? Our top four ways to protect your home.

No one wants to find someone accessing their home without their permission – that’s why protecting your property has never been so important. And just when people think they may be doing everything they can to protect their home, their best intentions can be taken advantage of. In the UK, there’s around 50,000 security cameras that have sold with critical flaws – leaving you, your home and your data vulnerable to unwanted cyber intrusion.

At Halo Smart Homes we know that when it comes to home security, you can never be too careful. We take privacy and security extremely seriously, which is why we do not compromise on the quality of our products or sell our customer’s data. We want you to be in control.

Here’s four easy ways to ensure your data is protected:

Do your research

You would never buy a car without reading the safety reviews and checking the specifications, and we recommend that you do the same with home security too. Always use a trusted supplier of equipment and services, who use a secure server and fully encrypt data. It’s also a good idea to check independent websites for reviews when purchasing equipment, such as Reviews.io.

At Halo Smart Homes, our Smart Homes hub uses dual path technology to transmit all data to our servers. When the data is transmitted, subscriber data is segregated based on the subscriber id and implemented all throughout the application layer logic. Communication between the hub and server is encrypted with at least AES 128-bit (or equivalent) encryption.

The web application servers reside in a DMZ network (segmented by a firewall from all other networks) that permits inbound web (HTTPS) traffic to the load balancer, which distributes traffic to each of the web application servers. The application servers establish connections to the database servers and other backend servers, which are on an internal network, also firewalled from all other network segments.

Protect your privacy when using video cameras

You wouldn’t want to invite an intruder into your home – yet, by purchasing unsecure products you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to unwanted invasions of privacy. That’s why it is important to choose a product with AES-256 encryption sent over a VPN. You should also ensure all cameras are password protected and employ a secure level of user authentication – such as (MD-5 Based Digest access authentication).

At Halo Smart Homes, all of our video streams and video device commands, are sent over a VPN connection using bank-grade AES-256 encryption. This means that even if there is no security on the local WiFi network – or your WiFi security is somehow compromised – our cameras connect over a high security path, using the VPN (for relayed connections) or through HTTPS (for direct connections).

You can see all cameras associated with your account, and additional logins created for the account can be assigned permission to see the cameras as required. The cameras employ password protection to prevent access from outside our network and employ advanced MD5-based digest authentication for user authentication.

There is no such thing as a “free app”

Can you put a price on the safety of your home or data? Developing and maintaining a platform service and app with highly trained software engineers, expensive hosting fees on licensed or in-house servers, is not cheap. So, when a company offers a free app to its customers, how are they paying for the engineering of this resource?

There are only a few ways they can do this;

  • Selling your data: Check the T&Cs for any service you are using, some suppliers include terms to use the data they get from your devices – including knowledge about what you are doing at home, what you are controlling and even inferring if you are at home or not to any third party.
  • The ‘Freemium’ upgrade model: Companies offer a free app to everyone based on a business model assumption that 10% of end-user customers will love it and upgrade for extra services/features for a fee.
  • Being a ‘loss leader’: Another business model will include writing off significant financial loss by means of gaining customers to other services in other areas of the business and tying them in for a longer period, at a higher cost.

At Halo Smart Homes, our subscription plans ensure your data and home are always protected. We have a team of software engineers and security experts who continually maintain and develop our platform, app and products. Customers aren’t tied into long-term commitments, the contract works on a month-by-month basis, so you can cancel at any point by giving us 30 days’ notice. We also never sell our customers data and adhere to strict data privacy rules on handling of data.

Ensure you are up to date

You would never leave your computer vulnerable to new malware threats, so why do the same with your home? Always ensure that you have the latest versions of your anti-virus software, apps and desktop browsers, as well as keeping all hardware firmware up to date with the latest releases. In our experience, most other home security providers offer a bi-annual or annual service update – but if something goes wrong outside that window, you have to wait until the next update.

At Halo Smart Homes, we update our service platform every week. We add new features, fix bugs and make improvements, sending the latest firmware to your connected devices remotely as part of your subscription, allowing you to feel confident that you are secure and protected from hacking.

If you have any questions or would like further advice on our security and data privacy policy, please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 004 999 or email enquiries@protectmyproperty.co.uk.