This Morning: Cocoon keeps your home safe during summer holidays

This week, Cocoon featured on national television as part of This Morning. The ITV show hit 1.2 million viewers in January 2018, aligning the innovative smart home security gadget with trusted household names, including the hosts Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford and Alice Beer.

The hosts of This Morning were highlighting how to security proof your home to keep it safe if you’re going away this Summer holiday season. Shown live on the morning of 16th July, they featured a selection of gadgets including a smart plug socket to remotely control lamps and radios, Ring’s smart doorbell, Masterlock’s digital key safe and Cocoon’s smart home security system.

Summer holiday burglaries

During warmer Summer months, residents in the UK enjoy getting out to make the most of the sunshine, opening windows wide and having holidays with family and friends. Whether those are staycations or somewhere further afield, it means many homes are left empty and vulnerable, resulting in an increasing number of burglaries during the month of July.

With this in mind, it was great to see such a popular television show as ITV’s This Morning, offering advice and making people aware of simple things they can do to protect their home.

How to keep your home safe while on holiday

Answering the question, “How do you make sure your house is kept secure?”, Alice Beer shows some of the latest home security gadgets, from quick cheap fixes to high-end technology. She also shared some helpful tips on putting burglars off breaking into your home. We offer advice on the Cocoon blog that supports what she says, deterrence is key and there are many simple ways to make your home less appealing to burglars.

Some of the simple tips mentioned by Alice on This Morning, include:

  • Ensuring your letters don’t pile up on your doormat while you’re away, it’s a clear signal of an empty home to inquisitive thieves
  • Closing and locking windows and doors, while this sounds obvious, it’s easy to forget – especially during warm weather
  • Do not post on social media about being away, you’ll be tipping off burglars and those summer snaps can wait until you get back!

See your home from a sun lounger

Keeping your home safe while you’re on holiday really can be simple. As Alice says, “you can be lying on your sun lounger, by the pool, and looking at what’s going on in your house!” Cocoon’s smart home security camera “senses movement throughout your house” – not just in the room it’s in. Combined with its machine learning, Cocoon is smart enough to know when to alert you. If something triggers the security system it streams live HD video straight to your phone.

For home security without the hassle, Cocoon connects you to your home through your phone. So you know everything is safe, even while you’re away enjoying the Summer sun or relaxing by a swimming pool.

Watch “how to keep your home holiday safe” on ITV’s This Morning.

Cocoon and Google Assistant give you voice controlled smart home security

You can now control Cocoon with your voice using Google Assistant and the Google Home range, as well as Amazon Alexa. For security so simple, you don’t need to lift a finger.

Our mission at Cocoon is about making it simple for everyone to feel that their homes are secure. We do this by developing smart things that are easy to use, and what could be easier than saying a few words to arm your home security system? Earlier this year we launched our Amazon Alexa skill, and now we have good news for fans of Google’s technology. Our latest Android and iOS app updates allow you to control your Cocoon with Google Assistant.

Integrating with Google Assistant, and the range of Google Home products means you can manage your home security hands-free. Making Cocoon’s smart home security even easier to use. But don’t worry, we always put security at the heart of what we do – disarming Cocoon’s security system cannot be done with simple voice commands. A precaution to ensure your smart home can’t be outsmarted!

Hey Google, what can Cocoon do for me?

  • “Hey Google, ask Cocoon to arm my household”
    If you’re at home and you want an extra level of security, simply ask Google to arm your Cocoon.  Making it easy to arm your Cocoon at bedtime, so you can rest easy knowing Cocoon is on guard.
  • “Ok Google, tell Cocoon to sound the siren”
    If you’re home alone and hear something unusual, you can activate Cocoon’s built-in siren with your voice.  Sounding the 90+ dB alarm even if you don’t have your phone to hand to access the Cocoon app, simply by asking Google.
  • “Ok Google, ask Cocoon about Subsound”
    Learn more about Cocoon by asking Google. Find out about Subsound® technology, how Cocoon uses AI to avoid false alarms and what the different coloured lights on the front mean.

This is our very first release for Google Assistant, there are more exciting features and updates in the works to control your Cocoon with Google Home and Google Home Mini devices.

Can burglars outsmart my smart home?

Security is at the heart of all we do at Cocoon, including making exciting new features like voice-controlled security with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Rest assured that disarming your Cocoon home security will never be as simple as saying “Hey Google, disarm Cocoon”.

There will always be tight security, and well-considered rules, around disarming your Cocoon home security. It is one of the most important elements in ensuring the technology works to protect your home when you want it to. Ensuring Cocoon cannot be disarmed with voice commands not only prevents the risk of tech-savvy intruders over-riding your security, but also of someone in your household accidentally asking Cocoon to stand down.

How do I ‘Link’ Cocoon with Google Assistant

Linking your Cocoon to your Google Home or Assistant can be done in a few simple steps, ensuring a secure ‘handshake’ between the two:

1. Open your Cocoon app and visit the ‘Household details’ screen. There is a section for ‘Smart home’ where you can ‘Sign in with Google’
2. Tap ‘Continue’ and sign in to the Google account you’d like to link to Cocoon
3. Open your Google Assistant app, search for Cocoon, tap the ‘Link’ button and follow Google’s instructions
4. The final stage is to activate it with a voice command, why not try “Hey Google, tell me about Subsound”

You’ll now be able to tell Cocoon to sound your siren and stop it, ask Cocoon to arm, and find out about Subsound from any smartphone using Google Assistant, as well as Google Home, Google Home mini and Amazon Alexa products.

There’s more information, with pictures to guide you through how to ‘link’ your Cocoon with your Google Assistant on our help page.

So, what next?

We’re excited that you can now have voice-controlled home security with the range of Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa products. We hope that, by being hands-free, your home security becomes a more natural part of your daily life. Making it even easier to feel safe in the knowledge Cocoon is looking after what you care about most.

We always love to hear from you. If you have any feedback or questions email us on [email protected] or chat live with us on our website.

Response to Typeform’s recent data breach

On Monday 2nd July 2018, we were informed that Typeform – a company we once used to conduct a survey about Cocoon – suffered a data breach. Rest assured that this does not impact any Cocoon systems.

Our software and hardware is unaffected and we are continuing to maintain the security and integrity of our externally-validated systems. This is through ongoing, pro-active and precautionary security patches. We understand that Typeform responded immediately, fixing the source of the breach to prevent any further intrusion.

This afternoon, we are contacting those who may be affected.

What happened?

On June 27, 2018, Typeform’s engineering team discovered that an unknown third party had gained access to their server and downloaded certain information, including some data of respondents to surveys conducted by Cocoon on Typeform. They claim to have responded immediately, closing the source of entry and closely monitoring their platform. Typform reported that there is no evidence of any recurrence of the incident.

Before contacting us, Typeform performed an investigation to ensure they could minimise risk of further attacks and give clear detail of the data breach to those affected. You can read how Typeform responded to the data breach here.

Who is affected?

92 people who participated in a survey in 2015, before the launch of Cocoon, may have had the data they entered into Typeform accessed by a third party. We will be alerting those who took part in that survey directly, by email.

We have not used Typeform since 2015. As a result, just one survey about Cocoon, which we conducted in mid-2015, has been impacted by this breach.

What should you do?

No specific precautions are necessary as a response. As always, please be alert for spam or phishing emails in your inbox. If you receive an email that you’re not sure of, do not click any links or open any attachments. If you think something is spam, report it to your email provider – most will have a “report spam” button you can click. By reporting it you will help email systems to spot spammers and reduce the amount of spam that everyone receives.

For those affected, please look out for suspicious contact by email – particularly from anyone claiming to be Cocoon. If in doubt, email us on [email protected] and we can verify if an email is genuine or not. Never invite anyone to your Cocoon household unless you are sure of their identity and trust them. The Cocoon team will never ask you for a household invitation. If someone claiming to be Cocoon ever contacts you requesting access please let us know immediately.

We have no ongoing relationship with Typeform and have not used their service since 2015. We have no current plans to use Typeform and any future use would be dependent on a review of their security precautions.

As part of routine security and data measures, Cocoon has deleted remaining survey data collected through the Typeform platform.

Cocoon isn’t just about home security, it’s about helping you feel safe in your real and digital worlds. We regularly share tips on keeping your data secure on our blog and social media, but if you have any questions our team are on hand to help. You can email them on [email protected].