Jamie Bennett, Engineering Director at Drayton, discusses the key information heating engineers need to know to put their customers at ease about the security of smart devices.

According to a YouGov survey from 2018, 23% of homes have at least one smart device, and the installation of smart heating controls is certainly on the rise. However, as more homeowners consider this new technology, it is understandable that they often have questions about security protocols and how their data is stored and used. 

What are the potential dangers?

Many products on the market are designed to make heating control easier than ever, however certain functions use personal data in order to operate and, if this data was to fall into the wrong hands, could present some risks if not properly secured. 

As well as being able to create schedules based on the user’s movements, some heating controls feature smart ‘away modes’ that can be activated using geofencing technology when the connected phone is a certain distance away from the house. Additionally, weather compensation technology that utilises online weather reports often work by using a postcode, so this presents a potential threat for personal data to be exposed.

If a hacker was able to get hold of any of the above data, it would provide them with everything they need to know about the location of a property and when it is empty. This is why data security is essential for any smart control. 

How can you reassure customers?

The best heating controls on the market will have high levels of data protection built into the product. Data collected by a heating control is used to perform functions within the system such as geofencing and weather compensation, which is mainly stored in the cloud. Some data will be stored locally on the phone where the normal security mechanisms built into the mobile operating system keep it secure.

If a customer is looking to invest in a smart heating control, it’s key to emphasise the importance of purchasing from a reputable manufacturer with a proven history of data security.

How can I find out more?

Smart control security is an important topic, so being clued up is essential in being able to answer your customer’s questions. 

Training is the best way to find out more about how smart heating controls work and is an opportunity to ask any questions about security. Once you have selected the control, take a look at what courses the manufacturer offers to ensure you are fully equipped to answer any questions homeowners may have