Billions of people have invested in some type of Smart device, while some have been absolutely thrilled with their purchase, others not so much. An interface that is easy to access, use and understand is a must, because most people are not willing to invest a lot of time in trying to in trying to figure it out. For this reason, many interconnected devices will end up in a yard or garage sale, with some poor owner hoping that someone will take it off their hands.
Just like investing in a pre-owned vehicle with Smart technologies, buying used Smart devices comes with some risks. Both the Smart car and Smart device has its own companion app, which provides the user with remote control capabilities. The app must be downloaded onto an iOS or Android device and in most cases the user must register an account. Once the set up process is complete, the user will be able to manage the vehicle or device from the connected phone or tablet. The owner will also have the option of sharing access with multiple users, by providing them with the login information, email and password. In some cases, each user will need to register a separate account, with a unique password and email.
Now, what you didn’t know about purchasing a pre-owned Smart car or device, the previous owner will be able to access them at any time. For instance, if the connected device is a Smart thermostat, the previous owner will be able to adjust the temperature setting, switch the HVAC unit on/off and create a time schedule from anywhere around the world.
There is a solution to this problem, but many times the problem will go undetected for years or until you replace the device. You will need to perform a factory reset on the device. However, this doesn’t always work, because the device may be set up to only allow the previous owner to revoke their access. In this case, the new owner will need to contact the previous owner or manufacturer.
To check for users that have been authorized to access the device, a call to the manufacturer may be warranted. There will probably not be a screen that shows this information and it may only be available to the manufacturer.
If you do decide to invest in a second-hand Smart device, you should make a call to the manufacturer to request them to remove the former owner. Of course, you can always try a factory reset, but nine times out of ten this process will not revoke access to the old owner.
The same goes, when investing in a Smart Home. The new owner will be forced to contact each device manufacturer to revoke the previous owner. This will be a timely process, but to avoid risks it will be absolutely necessary. Just imagine if the device is a Smart lock, the previous owner will have access to your home.