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Could Your Smart Home Security Be Compromised?

Wi-Fi blockers and jammers are a notable topic in news reports about burglars in 2024, but is your smart home security in jeopardy?

Wi-Fi blocking sounds dangerous, but it's unlikely to be a threat to your home

One of the big selling points of smart home security is that it can make your home safer and more convenient. But you may have seen reports in 2024 about burglars using new technology to block Wi-Fi signals, jamming valuable camera systems or video doorbell connections and rendering them useless. This news report discusses police warnings about break-ins using Wi-Fi jammers in Los Angeles and Glendale, and here's a scary-sounding story about jammer burglars hitting homes in Minneapolis.

If you're worried, you're like many other homeowners who worry that their devices -- especially Wi-Fi cameras and sensors -- won't alert them in the presence of mobile Wi-Fi blockers, catch the thief, or even call a monitoring station for help.

Wi-Fi jammers do exist, but they are unlikely to pose a threat to your home or any of your devices.

Let’s summarize your reasons to stay calm:

  • The above reports are general messages from police to their communities, with little evidence of Wi-Fi jammers being used and only wealthy neighborhoods being robbed. In some cases, local reports explicitly state that police are only saying thieves “might” have used jammers, not that they’ve caught anyone in the act of committing robberies. Some burglar arrests, like this one in Connecticut in 2023, do provide evidence of jammer devices, but this is one of the very few that has been confirmed.
  • Smart home encryption helps prevent such attacks and can notify owners of problems immediately.
  • Burglars may not have the time or resources to buy and learn new technology. They’ll smash your windows or drill your door latches—blocking Wi-Fi isn’t their plan.
  • More likely, a suspected smart home security malfunction is the result of a dead wireless device battery or a failure of motion detection to activate due to a motion zone or detection sensitivity issue.
  • According to a 2019 FBI report, burglaries account for only 16% of property crimes, with only about 60% of those involving residential thefts and only about half of burglaries involving any kind of forced entry. It’s also worth noting that between 2010 and 2020, burglaries overall dropped by about 50%.

However, Wi-Fi jamming technology does exist, and despite FCC laws prohibiting the sale of such technology, thieves can still find and purchase jammers online.

on July 9 at 8:38

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