Don't Set Yourself Up to Fail: Tips for Safer Home Security Setups
Posted 8th January 2023
The global home security market has been growing by leaps and bounds. By 2026, experts expect the market to expand at a rate of 20.1%. This is on top of an expected increase of 21.6% from 2021 to 2022.
From Ring doorbell cams to entire home security systems, consumers want these solutions. Watching your front door from afar has never been so easy. With cloud-based video streams, homeowners can view any part of their home.
Sharing doorbell camera shots on neighborhood social media groups is now common. These home security systems also provide peace of mind at a wallet-friendly cost.
But don’t let the ease of setup fool you. Home security cameras can open your family up to risks if you don’t take precautions. Often, people are so excited to see what they can do, they don’t stop to think about device security.
There are horror stories online about hacked video cameras. This includes strangers saying disturbing things through those cameras to children.
Additionally, in 2019, Ring suffered a data breach. That breach exposed the personal data of over 3,000 Ring users. This included usernames and passwords.
It’s enough to make you reconsider your decision to add extra security. But don’t let those incidents scare you off. You can properly secure a home video camera system to ensure it’s not breached.
Here are some of the things you should do for a safe home security setup.
Make Sure Your Router is Secure
You access an IP security camera via the internet. Any commands going to the system or footage coming from it go through your router. So, you need to make sure that your router is properly secured.
Hackers breach routers so they can get to the devices connected to that network. Ensure your router security protocol is no lower than WPA2. The next generation, WPA3, is even better. These protocols govern the protection of data transmitted through the wireless network.
Give the router a strong password that is at least 12 characters long. Software can crack a password of only 8 standard characters instantly. But a 12-character password with at least one upper case letter, number, and symbol takes 34,000 years.
Change the Default Username & Password
You also need a strong password for your security system’s admin account. You should also change the default device and username. Hackers have lists of all these device defaults and use them to break into these systems.
Changing the default username and password for the device should be one of the first things you do. Otherwise, it could be mere minutes after you connect to the internet that you’re hacked.
Ensure the System Uses SSL/TLS Or Other Encryption
You don’t want the footage from your cameras transmitted for anyone to grab and watch. Make sure the security system you choose notes SSL/TLS. Or another standard encryption.
This ensures that the data cannot be intercepted and accessed. SSL is short for Secure Sockets Layer, and TLS is short for Transport Layer Security. Without a form of encryption, a hacker can easily breach your device.
Keep the Software Updated
If your security system has an automatic update feature, turn that on. Unfortunately, many users don’t think about updating their device software. This leaves it more vulnerable to a hack.
Updates often include important security fixes for found vulnerabilities. You want to make sure updates install promptly. That’s why automating this is best.
Consider Access Levels for Multiple Users
Do you have several family members accessing your cloud-based security device? If so, set up some access levels. Not everyone needs to be at an administrator level.
Hackers love it when they can breach the login of an admin user for an account. This gives them more privileges, like changing settings. Giving lower-level privileges, such as “view only,” to most family members improves security.
Enable Camera Security Features
There will be various security features that are available with your system. Manufacturers often do not enable all security settings by default. The user must turn all or some of them on.
If you’re unsure of what settings should be on or off, we’ll be happy to help. Some home security systems have generous sharing options. This can be an invitation for hackers. You want to restrict these as much as possible.
Make Sure Your Mobile Device is Secure
Most people access their security cam through their smartphone. Make sure that you secure yours and keep it updated with the latest operating system. Hackers can gain access to a security system through a device with weak safeguards.
Add things like:
- Mobile anti-malware
- DNS filtering
- Screen lock
- Automated updating
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Article used with permission from The Technology Press.