WIFI Security Cameras – Am I at Risk of Hacking?
Security Cameras are designed to increase security of your home and ensure family safety, they allow you to monitor any activity in or around your home at any time day or night. However, with the majority of cameras on the market now operating based on WIFI, it can certainly arise some security concerns and questions on the risks of potential hacking. So how secure is your WIFI – enabled security camera?
The reality is, any device that has an internet connection can be vulnerable to hackers and research shows that thousands of WIFI cameras are hacked and the potential risks of this are dangerous. The dangers can be that hackers can watch live and saved video footage, view the layout of your property, and also see if it is occupied.
First, you may ask – How do I know if I have been hacked?
Noticing that you have been hacked is not always easy, and many hacking attacks go unnoticed. However, the general points you should look out for are:
- Camera’s operating slower than usual (although this may be a sign it needs repairing, it could also indicate a breach in security)
- Log in details stop working
- Strange noises coming from the speakers of the camera
- LED lights on your cameras flickering, or change in the pattern
- Unexpected movements from the camera
- Notifications that it has been accessed from a different device
So whilst noticing if your camera has been breached is very difficult, the best defense to this would be a good offense. This is simplest terms means increasing your own awareness of hacking techniques which in turn makes you better equipped in fighting any potential risks.
The first important option is to purchase the cameras through a reputable source/brand. Although the temptation to purchase a cheap and convenient DIY camera is common, it is always recommended to have a professionally installed and maintained CCTV camera system where you can, as they offer much better security than these DIY alternatives. Key Access Locksmith is highly experienced in the installation of CCTV systems and can advise on the best systems from experience.
It is incredibly important that you check the WIFI camera has the basic security features, most commonly they must support SSL / TLS encryption to ensure it doesn’t put your surveillance footage vulnerable to hackers (encryption scrambles messages within a system and grants access through keys) It also needs to have security between the camera and your home router which means first head to your WIFI network and ensure it is secured – this includes choosing a good strong password and changing the default SSID name.
On your Wifi Camera, you should also be given the function to create a password or change from the default password – having a password on your cameras prevents leaving an ‘open door’ for hackers to gain access to the device or through the device to the wireless network that it is connected to. Passwords should always be a combination of both upper and lower case numbers and symbols – the more complicated the better! Username and Passwords should be changed immediately after installation as default options make it easier to hackers to capture. Many systems now also offer two-factor authentication that provides another level of security, as it will only allow log in when confirmation is received through a registered secondary input – such as a code sent to an email or via a text message
Usually, the manufacturers of WIFI cameras have occasional updates on their firmware in order to increase their performance but to also fix any potential errors or ‘back door’ exploits that provide easy access to hackers. So, it is important your software is updated to the most current firmware and check for these updates regularly.
Finally securing your WIFI cameras outdoors to a suitable place is just as important, where it will not easily be damaged or stolen, as well as protecting it from heavy rain or heat. It is also beneficial to keep it in a place that is not easily noticed by any intruders although on the other hand, being placed in detectable places can also be used as a deterrent.
Taking these few simple steps is essential in offering the best security for your home and at Key Access Locksmith, we use professional installers and technicians that are highly experienced in the installation of CCTV Home Security systems. We can provide expert advice on how to stay one step ahead of hackers and keep the security of your home to the maximum it can be. Whilst it is impossible to eradicate hacking, taking all the relevant steps can help keep the risks to a minimum.