With the recent increase in the number of security camera hacks it is perfectly understandable to feel uneasy, especially if you have security cameras installed at home. The most famous case involves an 8-year-old girl who was being watched by a hacker that even talked to her.
There have been various reports of incidents involving camera hacks and Ring Security Systems but investigations showed that Ring didn’t suffer a security breach.
It is a common misconception that hacking is performed by a guy behind a screenwriting a bunch of commands, and when everything is ready they just type “Hack security camera” and they’re in.
In reality, achieving this is not as complex as you may think.
How can home security cameras be hacked?
Most of these cases occur because of a lack of security sense on the user’s side. Far too often people use generic usernames and passwords that are easily guessed by camera hackers. This is always the most common way to get hacked.
Within a local network, home security cameras can be left unencrypted and without any password protection. This is a somewhat understandable behavior because wireless networks are generally considered strong enough to avoid malicious attacks. But once someone gains access to that network, it gains access to every unprotected device connected to it.
Now, to gain remote access can be a bit less complicated for hackers. If your company or service providers have been victims of a data breach this means that your login credentials might be in the wrong hands.
Data breaches are not very uncommon, generally speaking. Usually, small businesses and sometimes big companies fall victim to attacks like this one.
Even though the “general public” is not a direct victim of data breaches, your information can be put at risk. And when your login credentials and passwords are available to other people, there is no need to find exploits or break strongly encrypted networks.
The Steps You Should Take To Prevent Hackers From Accessing Your Home Security Cameras.
1.Protect Your Router
The most straightforward way to get to your security system is through your network. If your router is not secure your network is not secure. Making sure that your router’s signal is encrypted and the device is up to date will ensure that there are fewer security liabilities.
Use a strong password for your router but make sure it is not the same password you use for your security system. You should never use the same password for different accounts and devices, especially when it comes to home security.
2. Use Strong Passwords
Weak passwords are the number one reason why hacks occur. Default passwords, birthdays and names are easily guessed by other people and can lead them to get access to your accounts. Strong passwords, on the other hand, are far more secure.
A password 12 digits long is hard to guess, and close to impossible if you include numbers and punctuation marks. So, instead of “making your life easier” by using the default password, make your life more secure by creating a new strong one.
3. Firmware Updates and Apps
Firmware updates are an extremely important part of cybersecurity. By continually providing support and software fixes, updates are able to protect your devices from exploits. Keeping your apps up to date will dramatically reduce the chances of a hacker getting access to your information.
Although there are people who find updates annoying, fixing bugs and adding more security is vital. It’s for this reason that companies are always providing software updates. Every update strengthens your security more against attacks.
4. Install a Firewall.
Firewalls shield your networks and devices to protect you from hackers and malicious software. A firewall by itself is a great security measure, but when combined with others, you can rest assured that you are secure.
You can configure your firewall to block data from certain locations and stop unwanted network traffic. A nice way to see it is like a digital security guard that prevents unauthorized access to your devices.
5. Use Different Networks
Your camera networks should be different than the other networks that you use in your home and the reason is pretty simple. If a hacker is able to access your home network it means that they are also able to access your home security network.
To prevent this, put your security cameras on a network of their own. A separate network will ensure that even if the main network is accessed, nobody but you will have access to your security cameras.
6. Check Your Camera Logs.
Many home security systems and cameras allow its users to check the camera logs. This is an easy way to know if someone else has access to your cameras.
Your camera logs will show you when someone accesses your home security cameras and sometimes even the IP address from where it was accessed. If you find a suspicious log and an IP address you are not familiar with you must change your access credentials immediately and notify the right authorities if possible.
7. Secure your mobile phone
Since many home security systems are controlled through mobile apps, keeping your smartphone secure is a crucial step to improve your home’s security. Not having a password on your cellphone is enough to allow anyone to access your information.
To avoid this from happening you must always have your cell phone protected using a password or whatever method you feel comfortable with. Avoid misplacing it and install a tracking app to find it if you do.
No system is perfect, but using the 7 steps provided will provide you with multiple layers of protection, making it practically impossible for a hacker to gain control.
The chances of being a victim of a home camera hack are actually quite small. Just following the most simple safety precaution can go a long way. Since even the most basic encryption methods are basically unbreakable, a good password and an updated firmware increase your security exponentially.
However, you can always take it a step further. Besides the 7 provided steps you can also set up a VPN to restrict devices from accessing your network and log your network’s activity to constantly keep an eye on what’s going on.