Anyone old enough to remember The Jetsons knows how the futuristic family used their flying car or jetpack to get to their “smart home,” where people movers whisked the family from room to room, lights automatically switched on, food appeared at the touch of a button and Rosie the robot maid cleaned up.
Today, thanks to all sorts of internet-connected devices, you can create your own smart home. You can remotely turn on lights, music, and appliances, automatically adjust temperatures, and even monitor your pets or children while you’re away. But recent headlines also point to some security risks. Just how safe and secure are these devices? And how can you know whether your internet-connected devices are updated to protect your privacy and security?
We think someone out there has the answer – which is why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hosting a prize competition called the Internet of Things (IoT) Home Inspector Challenge. The FTC is asking people to come up with a technical solution to guard against security vulnerabilities in software on smart devices connected to their homes. The winning tool would help protect people from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software. There’s $25,000 in prize money for the person – or the team – that comes up with the best technical solution, with $3,000 for each honorable mention winner.
The deadline for registering and submitting entries is May 22 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Visit FTC.gov/iot-home-inspector-challenge to check out all the rules and FAQs. You’ll also find more information when registration opens, on or about March 1.
About the Author
Cristina Miranda is a consumer education specialist at the FTC.
This post originally appeared in the FTC Consumer Information blog on Jan. 4.