As the number of internet-connected devices around our homes increases, so do our chances of being hacked. While IoT gear provides many benefits, it also make us more vulnerable to a hacker’s attack. Today, more and more cybercriminals target security cameras, as the number of these products rises exponentially across the globe.
Ironically, the very devices you install to help keep yourself, your family, and your home safe can, in other ways, leave you more open to a security risk. As such, it’s vital to take steps to keep your internet-connected cameras protected from hacker attacks.
Secure Your Wi-Fi Router with a Proper Password
The first step to keep cybercriminals at bay is to secure your Wi-Fi router with a proper password. Smart security cameras use the internet to do their jobs, so it’s necessary to stop anyone from being able to break into your internet and gaining access to connected devices from there.
Your Wi-Fi should be password protected with a code that’s a minimum of eight characters long. The password should be made up of a mixture of numbers, symbols, and upper-case and lower-case letters and not based around any information you share publicly online or elsewhere, such as birth dates, addresses, pet or children’s names, etc.
Install Security Software on Your Devices
Next, install quality internet security software on all the devices you use to control IoT gear, including your security cameras. Since you’ll use your laptop, tablet, and smartphone to control your smart cameras, these gadgets pose a risk if broken into. You should already have these items password protected, but also use security software to ensure hackers are less likely to break in remotely.
Effective software products cover you against a myriad of cybercriminal threats, including spam, spyware, ransomware, viruses, and various malware. Choose software that keeps your information private when you’re browsing online, and that blocks malicious incoming emails and dodgy attachments and links. It’s also wise to use a firewall on your computers, as this act as an additional layer of defense against hackers, particularly those trying to use an internet connection to break into your systems.
Update all Tech Software and Firmware
Many consumers don’t realize that they’re leaving themselves open to a hacker attack by not updating the software and firmware on their technology. If you’re not running the latest versions of programs, whether on cameras or security software, browsers, operating systems, etc., there may be gaps hackers can exploit to gain access to one of the networks.
Always install the latest programs as soon as they’re available because developers will have found any compromised spots and plugged them in the newest offerings. Regular notices should be emailed to you or alerts pop up on your screen to warn you of available updates. However, it also pays to set up updates to automatically install so that you don’t have to worry about running them manually.
Also, if you’re not sure if there are any firmware updates available on the security cameras themselves, check the accompanying app. Look under sections such as “Settings,” “About,” or “Device” to see if there’s mention of an update. You can also usually find details of new versions, plus step-by-step instructions for installing them, on manufacturer websites.
Buy Quality Camera Brands that Take Security Seriously
Another way to protect your smart security cameras is to buy quality products in the first place. When browsing for cameras, do some research into which brands most take security issues seriously. Usually, you’ll find the safest are the more trusted, well-known manufacturers that have been around for a long time and have more to lose if their products have security gaps. Such companies typically include more security factors in their designing methods and then run more frequent updates to plug holes as they arise over time.
Change Device Usernames and Passwords
When you first get your new security cameras home, read the instruction manuals that come with them. These guides should have information about how to change the device’s username and password. This is important because manufacturers create generic login information for their products and use this across the board. These details are public knowledge, so hackers have them too. When cybercriminals know what a product’s default settings are, they can use these details to try to break into your cameras. Stop them from being successful at this by changing the settings ASAP.
Smart security cameras are convenient to have around the home or office and continue to get more sophisticated while at the same time also more affordable. However, these devices aren’t impervious to security risks, so make sure you’re taking the steps you must to keep the devices free from hackers.
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