Drones are usually thought of as toys or hobbyist aircraft. However, they also constitute a substantial risk to your family, home and privacy. Whether or not you own a drone, it’s important that you’re aware of regulations and safety tips regarding their use.

Registering Your Drone

Here are the basic guidelines for registering recreational drones with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):

  • Drones that weigh between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds must be registered online.
  • Once registered, the drone’s operator will receive a registration number that must be placed on all applicable drones.
  • The registration is valid for three years. Failing to register a drone may result in regulatory and criminal penalties.

Drone Safety

Use these tips to safely operate drones:

  • Check your local laws and ordinances to ensure that drones can be operated in your area.
  • Make sure that the drone’s operator is comfortable with the controls.
  • Don’t fly the drone above 400 feet, and always remain below any surrounding obstacles.
  • Keep the drone in sight at all times, and have an observer assist the operator if needed.
  • Don’t operate the drone when it’s windy, or in other inclement weather.

Cyber Risk?

Researchers have shown that drones equipped with smartphones can access data from insecure devices. And, since drones can access areas that a normal person couldn’t, they could potentially access your family’s private information and violate your privacy.

Make sure that your home’s networks and devices are safe from intrusion, even if they seem to be in an inaccessible location.