#DigitalSkeptic: Crowdfunded Gadgets Come With Security Dangers
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It took Adam Sager all of two minutes to give me a one hell of a Halloween fright.
"When it comes to the security of consumer electronics -- crowdfunded or otherwise -- some of the problems are so blatant, it's shocking," the founder of Manhattan-based security appliance maker Canary told me amid a dark and spooky phone call last week.
Sager has a darn chilling viewpoint on the trustworthiness of a new generation of socially funded electronics thrown off by crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. His 15-person firm has created one of the most successful crowdfunded electronics campaigns in history: Starting this past July, his $199 smart-home security device -- which provides an HD video feed and multiple sensors that capture the safety and security of a home, office or apartment -- raised a cool $1.96 million on Indiegogo.
Sager also has roughly a decade and a half of top-flight security experience, with a stint in the Israel Defense Forces and as a professional security consultant for firms such as McLean, Va.-based Booz Allen Hamilton and London-based Control Risks.Eighteen months ago, Sager came home to his rented suburban home in New York after a 10-day vacation and had a big-city paranoid moment. "I realized anything could have happened to my house when I was away. And I said, 'This is crazy, I am going to buy something that could solve this problem,'" he said. "But if you walk into a Target (TGT) or an Apple (AAPL) store and ask the manager for the home security device, they look at you with a blank stare." Sager began scaring up an easy-to-use home security option, such as professionally installed systems from the likes of ADT (ADT), Honeywell (HON) or Slomin's or do-it-yourself options makers such as McLean, Va.'s FrontPoint Security, Iris Home Management System, available through Lowe's (LOW), or Cambridge, Mass,-based SimpliSafe. "But what you learn is, as soon as a device relies on the user to set up the security of that device properly," he explained, "the chance for that device to really be secure drops dramatically."
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