Your home is your base. The place you feel safe. Partly because of some good locks. They enable you to decide who and what comes in or goes out and that is essential to enjoy a good night’s rest. But hey, how about your digital doors? As your house is getting smarter, it's important to stay focused yourself.

In and around the house, the internet is becoming more and more important. The thermostat, the doorbell, washing machine, baby intercom, fridge and curtains – everything can be connected to and controlled by the internet. And that is only the beginning. With the rise of the Internet of Things expect a tsunami of connected things. Each of these products has its own connection to the internet – a sort of entrance that will also tempt online burglars to try and break into your home. And since you lock the doors to your house, it should become a good habit to put locks on your internet access too. 'Easier said than done', you might think. True. But there are a number of things you can do by all means.

1: Opt for quality
Home automation comes in all shapes and sizes from various providers. Do not buy from vague companies from far-away countries, but opt for quality of well-known brands with a good reputation when it comes to security.

2: Stay up-to-date
Every lock can in principle be cracked and every code hacked. For that reason, leading brands are constantly working on the security of their digital services. Keep an eye on security updates and carry them out right away.

VodafoneZiggo's software package Safe-Online protects your personal information, devices ánd children against the main online dangers. We constantly provide you with the latest information and state-of-the-art software. We also endorse the covenant 'Prevention of Cyber Crime' and make an effort to protect the digital home against attacks from the outside.

3: Use strong passwords
Nearly every connected device is password protected by you. 1-2-3-4-5? No, that does not do at all. A password generator provides safe options. In case you prefer to do it yourself, opt for sentences instead of passwords, like 'ThisPasswordIsReallyStrong!' Mix in some numbers and hackers will really have a tough job.

4: Use a VPN
A VPN connection is actually a digital intermediary state, encrypting all your data. This shields your data ánd identity from outsiders, and only makes data visible to the receiver on the other end of the line. For a few euros per month you can benefit from this protection. Here you find all the information about VPN and a list of reliable providers.

5: Go all-in
Another solution for who wants to be smart ánd safe. Nowadays, you can also opt for a 'closed home automation system'. In this option, one single company takes care of all your devices and all data remains indoors. Something to take into account: not every home automation system communicates with every provider equally well. Which is why more and more 'alliances' are established between home automation and network providers.

As you can see, plenty of opportunities to ensure your digital safety. Once that is seen to, you can confidently start transforming your house into a paradise of convenience and intelligence. A house that will provide you with unprecedented insights, based on actual data, ánd with a good set of teeth. Your toothbrush, for example, measures your cleaning behaviour, uses the mirror to advise you to brush a bit longer in the morning, and moves up your dentist appointment, if needed.

The home of the future becomes even smarter, faster and safer with the introduction of new technologies. Li-Fi for example, a futuristic alternative for Wi-Fi that we closely monitor as member of the Light Communications Alliance (LCA). The term Li-Fi stands for Light Fidelity, and has everything to do with light. Like Wi-Fi, this technology enables wireless internet, but in this case, by means of your lamps. The signal only goes as far as the light of the lamp. Of course, this has its limits, but it also has huge security benefits, as this is another way to keep your data inside your own walls.

Wilco Dekker

As a Mount Everest climber ánd Technology Strategy Manager at VodafoneZiggo, Wilco Dekker explores the boundaries of man and technology.

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