Vulnerabilities of Home Security Cameras

Home security cameras are great as they allow you to keep an eye on what matters most to you. Whether that be your kids, your pets, or even just your property, it has never been easier to buy and set up an affordable Internet-based security camera. However, these cameras are susceptible to cyber criminals who want to spy on your personal activities and could potentially use sensitive footage to blackmail you. Without proper precautions, even reputable cameras like Ring products can be hacked by malicious actors (though Amazon does go through great lengths to resolve these issues and minimize risk). In order to protect your privacy and the integrity of your security products, follow these steps below to ensure your home security network is as safe as possible.

Tips to Protect Your Home Security Cameras from Hackers

1. Maximize the integrity of your Wi-Fi security

Use a strong, unique password for your Wi-Fi network and router. Enable WPA2 or WPA3 encryption, which provides better security than older encryption methods like WEP. Consider implementing additional security measures like a firewall and network segmentation to isolate your security cameras from other devices on your network. You may even want to install a second, separate Wi-Fi network just for your security devices.

2. Regularly update camera firmware

Hackers will always try to enter your network from the weakest point. If you do not regularly update your camera’s firmware, this will allow hackers easy access to your devices. Be sure to regularly check to make sure your security products are up-to-date with the latest patches and updates.

3. Enable end-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption is fairly standard across all security networks that are backed up to a cloud server, but is not always turned on by default. This kind of encryption prevents security companies or authorities to view your security footage and files and also makes it harder for hackers to pry into them as well. Make sure this setting is enabled on all your devices.

4. Only buy home security products from reputable manufacturers

It’s quite easy to want to save a few bucks and purchase Wi-Fi enabled security cameras from a lesser-known brand. However, these cameras are not enabled with security features and are not regularly updated like bigger security brands like Ring. Hackers will be able to infiltrate your security system easier if your network is filled with cheaper and less protected security camera products. Be sure to do your research and only buy from qualified brands.

5. Physical security measures

Install your security cameras in secure locations, out of reach and tampering. Additionally, protect the physical access to your cameras by securing your property with locks and alarms. Also consider what would happen if your cameras WERE hacked. You might want to second guess the placement of your security cameras if you are considering installing them in private areas like a bedroom or child’s room. If the worst were to happen, you would definitely not want hackers to have access to that footage.

6. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication for your camera accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a verification code in addition to your password.

7. Regularly monitor and review camera activity

Stay vigilant and regularly review the activity logs and footage from your security cameras. Look for any suspicious or unauthorized access and report it immediately.

8. Educate yourself and family members

Educate yourself and your family members about best practices for online security, including the importance of strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and avoiding suspicious links or downloads.

About the Author: Aaron Avila

Aaron J. Avila is a digital designer, social media marketer, and security professional with ENS Security.

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