SCOTTISH homeowners have been warned about the “hidden risks” of smart home security systems, after research revealed that 32% of residents are considering installing smart security cameras.

The study by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical showed that almost a fifth (19%) of Scots were also considering smart locks to bolster their security.

William Barne, of insurance broker Lycetts, has issued a “buyer beware” warning, and urged homeowners to consider the legal and insurance implications of their investments in smart security.

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“Tech advancements offer welcome opportunities for internet-connected devices to protect our properties and this latest study suggests many local residents are taking home security seriously and are looking to take advantage,” he said.

“Smart CCTV systems can have a particularly powerful role to play in helping to deter opportunist burglars, but we have seen a number of cases in recent months where these systems have been compromised.

“This has served to heighten concerns about the vulnerability of IP-based cameras to would-be hackers.

“The UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) recently launched a set of minimum requirements for manufacturers – but these are only a voluntary standard.

“People should consequently do their homework to ensure they are purchasing equipment that is as resilient as possible to cyber-attacks and data theft.”

Barne said homeowners who want to install smart CCTV tech should also ensure they respect the privacy of others and abide by their legal obligations under UK data protection laws.

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If images from their systems are captured beyond their property boundaries, they must have “clear and justifiable” reasons for doing so.

Although smart security systems are unlikely to affect home insurance cover, Barne recommends people to err on the side of caution and check with their insurance provider.

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