Your music system responds to voice commands, the thermostat knows exactly what time you get home and the baby camera can be operated with your phone.

Technology can make life a lot more pleasant.

But are we alert enough to the pitfalls?

Smart lamps, smart plugs, smart kitchens.

If it is up to the providers of these types of products, you no longer have to get up or bend over to switch on the lighting and actions such as closing the curtains by hand in the house of the future are a thing of the past.

Convenience serves people, goes the old saying.

Behavioral psychologist Chantal van der Leest has a logical explanation for this.

"People naturally want to save as much energy as possible," she says.

"That is a law of evolution. Anything that can be done more easily helps us survive. If you encountered a lion in the past while you had already wasted your energy, you were screwed."

Pleasure quickly gives way to habituation

Without those life-threatening situations, we are left with only the comfort.

The question is to what extent you really reap the benefits.

"You easily get used to new situations," explains Van der Leest.

"If you can control your curtains remotely, you will have a cheering moment at the beginning. But things like that quickly return to normal, and then you enjoy it less."

Technological innovations therefore no longer have the same effect as before, says the behavioral psychologist.

"In the days when you were still doing laundry by hand, large appliances suddenly provided more free time. You became happier because you had more room for self-development, or for friends and family. Today's interventions no longer make such big differences. . "

All those smart devices also have security risks

People who still want to get the latest tricks are often not sufficiently aware of the risks.

As an ethical hacker, Sijmen Ruwhof knows where the vulnerabilities lie.

"I have been turned on by a family that was in a panic because of ransomware in a hard drive. When I went there, it also turned out that the camera system had not been updated for four years. And the television, equipped with a camera and microphone, also received no more updates from the supplier for some time now. That way you can be approached by hackers. "

In 2020, the Dutch Data Protection Authority published a manual on the privacy risks of smart devices.

For example, provide good passwords, preferably with a two-step verification, and do not blindly choose the cheapest brand from China.

The consequences are often difficult to oversee.

"For some hackers, peeping through cameras is a hobby," says Ruwhof.

"A little mischief from teenagers. But don't forget that private images can also be used for extortion. And there have even been cases of hacked baby monitors, or unsafe children's toys."

'I would never put a smart lock on my door'

In the meantime, security is also becoming increasingly advanced.

Front doors can be opened via an app thanks to smart locks, so you no longer have to search for your keys with two full shopping bags in your hands.

"I would never put that on my door", Ruwhof responds.

"Such locks are also not completely uncrackable. The moment you use cutting edge technology, you should not be surprised if things go wrong somewhere."

"I don't mean to say that you shouldn't use smart equipment at all," the ethical hacker concludes.

"For example, I really enjoy my sound system. An older model without a microphone. But people often still have too little knowledge about what exactly they are getting into their homes. So make sure you read the installation booklet carefully, ask for help if you need help. does not fully understand something yourself. And think of regular updates. The maintenance of your smart equipment should be just as normal as cleaning your house. "