How to protect your Smart Security Camera from Hackers


Introduction

Raise a hand if you have ever been a hacker victim. I know I do. At some point in our lives, everybody has been hacked and the feeling is horrible.

Checking your e-mail and finding “threats” or suspicious emails sent to your family is offensive and intrusive. But what if I tell you that now hackers are trying to get into your Smart Camera to Spy on your home? Yes! That’s a real issue that needs to be controlled right now.

I bought my Arlo Cameras because I wanted to secure my house, not to become it a public place thanks to know-how boy accessing my footage.

Across the U.S. this problem has grown over the last years. For example, a family in Mississippi was attacked by a hacker on their Ring Smart Security Camera. A guy started to say to their 8-year-old daughter that he was Santa Claus. Check the footage here!

The fact that more and more homes are getting new smart home devices creates more opportunities to hackers to access your home.

In the following video, you can see more cases of family Camera’s hacked. Most of them are made by Ring, which is a great Smart home Company.

And perhaps you may be thinking…. Those Ring Cameras suck! Their security technology is too weak and that’s the reason why they got hacked! And if you think that way… let me tell you that you’re very wrong.

Most of the cyber-attacks occurred by human error. It’s not the company that got hacked and all credentials were leaked around the web, the most common reason for an account being hacked is because of its owner.

Hackers access your information because you let them have it too easily! And in this article, you will find how to protect it the proper way. And it doesn’t matter which type of Smart Camera you have, if you follow this advice you will learn that it is your responsibility your presence online.

1. Use WPA2 Protocols on your Wi-Fi at home.

WPA2 is a security protocol used on your router to encrypt your network. It doesn’t matter if you have the strongest password, if you don’t have WPA2 you will be hacked in no time. Most routers right now have this technology because it has a 128-bit encryption layer to protect your password, but before setting up everything make sure you choose this.

Even if you have a dumb password, using WPA2 you will make very difficult for any hacker to access your Smart Home devices.

2. Keep up to date all of your Smart Cameras Apps.

All companies keep their software protected from attackers. After getting feedback from their customers and the current trends in the market, they continue to improve the Apps and all the servers involved in the process. That’s why you need to keep up to date your Apps because if a hacker finds a breach on certain parts of the Arlo app, for example, the company will correct it and make it mandatory for all of its users.

And if you avoid updating it because you think it is useless, you are letting your main door open to anyone to access it!

3. Don’t use the same credentials for everything

I guess all of us are guilty of this. Once a hacker has found a password from a user, the next step is to try to use it on any type of device you own. Cameras, Smart Locks and anything you can think of. If you own a Smart Camera it is imperative that you use different users and a different password for this particular item. Remember that every time you turn it On, there is a live feed of your home that can be potentially harmed by an expert. If by chance there is an attack on your Gmail account or any kind of e-mail provider you use, can rest assured that your camera is protected with a totally different ID and Password.

4. Strong Passwords are your smartest decision.

It is worldwide proven that the harder and longer is your password, the harder it is to crack it. There are even websites that tell how fast your password can be hacked. But as a general rule, you need to have a password of at least 12 characters with capitals, symbols and with all the combinations possible. My best advice is to use 3 letters, one symbol, another three letters, and another two or three symbols and keep the same pattern until you have a decent 12-character password. Mix them enough to make it harder for the hackers to break it!

This advice is one of the most important because your password is the main lock of your camera account. If you don’t have a decent one, chances of being accessed by an 18-year-old “hacker” that uses a computer 16 hours a day is very high.

5. Biometrics are the future.

Biometrics and security are here to stay. Did you know that your fingerprint would give you more protection to your information even better than a password? After setting up your account your safest bet is lock your App with any kind of biometrics code. If you own an iPhone, using your face recognition is great and if you use any Android device, the fingerprint is the way to go.

6. Use your main accounts to manage passwords.

Normally, Google and Apple have on their accounts the ability to manage all of your e-mails and other regular accounts on your main browser. In my case, I use Gmail and Google Chrome all the time and it saves me all of passwords and usernames. Google has a great password creator, just use it to control all your credentials. A word of advice: use a password strong enough for your email account to avoid having access to the other accounts.

Even though if a hacker gets access to your email account, it’s going to be hard to access the other accounts, but the safest way is to use a very good password to avoid the suffering.

7. Use trusted camera brands.

I use the Arlo Cameras to protect my home, and I know that their servers are very well trusted because it has the biggest number of cameras connected in the U.S to the Cloud. The security protocols are above and beyond the competency, but there are some generic and regular cameras in the market that can be coded-broken easier than having a coffee!

If you are serious about protecting your house from any kind of intruder, even the virtual ones, the best decision is to go with a very good camera supplier.

8. Cloud-based systems

Smart cameras have its beauty in the fact that you can access it anywhere around the world. If you use a cloud-based system, you need to make sure that it has all the protections from hackers as possible. If you use a system that does not offer security, upgrade the service to enhance it. Some companies offer a free cloud service that in the long run gets hacked letting you exposed, but if you use their paid version you will have full coverage and your footage will be 24/7 protected.

9. Two-factor identification

Ugh, I hate to say it, but it’s necessary. Activate the two-factor identification and you will see every time someone tries to access your Smart camera App!

It’s kind of annoying for me to be all the time being checked in on my own cameras, but I think it’s worth the time. There are times that a hacker got access to your password and he tried to see your live footage, but if you activate the two-factor identification to your e-mail account, it’s going to protect it even more and the attempt to access your cameras will be easily controlled, by telling the company that you aren’t using the app at the moment.

10. Protect your Laptop with a good password

Usually, we think that all the protection has to come from the App or from the company that gives us the service for our cameras, but did you got to think that if you let your computer open with the browser already on the smart camera’s page accessed it is an open door for anyone to see it?

After 5 or 10 minutes of leaving your laptop unattended, it should automatically block with a password. And every time you turn it on or off, it should be protected to avoid any kind of live hacking folks!

Conclusion

Cyber-security is our responsibility and, with these simple but useful tips, you will be protected from any malicious person trying to access your house!

If you think that it’s horrible to be hacked, are you going to implement these tactics? Let me know in the comments below

 

 

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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