Security cameras are effective tools for homeowners and businesses. Their presence alone is enough to deter most criminals, while the footage they record can be useful in various situations. Internet-connected cameras take things a step further by allowing you to keep an eye on things remotely. But unfortunately, they can also be vulnerable to hackers.
Criminals can steal footage from your cameras. They could also access them remotely to watch or harass you from afar. Such threats are unlikely to derail the growth of a market forecast to be worth over $5 billion by 2025, but they’re still best avoided.
Read our tips for keeping your device, property, and household safe below.
Use strong passwords
As with many other devices and accounts, a weak password could destroy your home security system. Many cameras come with weak default passwords out of the box. Although steps taken by the government counteract this, it’s best to change yours and update it regularly.
Avoid phrases or combinations that are easy to guess. You could use a random password generator and a secure password manager to ensure you don’t lock yourself out.
If your camera allows it, set up two-factor authentication too. This will ask you for a passcode as well as your username and password, adding an extra step for hackers.
Keep up with software updates
Software updates might seem a nuisance, especially if they crop up regularly or put your device out of action for a little while. But most updates tackle new security threats, so you could leave yourself exposed by ignoring them.
Set your camera to update automatically. This way, there’s no hassle involved with installing a new release. Don’t forget to update the accompanying camera app on your smartphone at the same time too.
Install a virtual private network (VPN) on your router
Many people use VPNs to protect specific devices like laptops or smartphones. But downloading a VPN for your router will protect all your connected devices from prying eyes, including those that don’t support VPNs.
VPNs redirect your traffic, which is great for safeguarding smart home devices like cameras.
If in doubt, turn it off
If your camera is playing up, it might be best to deactivate it by unplugging the power. Giveaway signs of hacking include slow performance. However, this could also be due to a poor internet connection.
If you decide to sell your camera, don’t forget to restore it to factory settings and clear your data. But if you buy a camera from a reputable source and follow these tips, you should be safe to continue using it.
Could your security camera be vulnerable to cyberattacks?