More homeowners are choosing to include security cameras as a part of their overall home security. A concern for some is whether or not security cameras can be hacked and controlled, particularly those configured for remote access via the Internet.
Can my security camera be hacked?
The short answer, is yes. A longer, more comprehensive—and and reassuring—answer involves awareness of things like default online access and remote monitoring, password security, purchasing equipment from a trusted source, and the likelihood of your home being a target.
Remote Online Monitoring
A major area of concern has to do with remote online monitoring, which allows you to monitor your home security cameras online. An app or website is used to remotely log in to your security system and manage each camera for an instant view of your home. Many camera brands have this feature enabled by default, which means the minute your new camera surveillance system is up and running, it could be exposed to hackers.
If you’re not considering remotely monitoring your cameras, it might not occur to you that your new security equipment has this feature turned on by default, which can leave your security system vulnerable to hackers. You can turn this feature off, but if you are going to use it, the best first defense is to set up a strong password.
Many camera systems, even those provided by trusted home security companies, are configured with simple passwords such as “1234,” “1111,” “admin,” or something similar to help you easily get your new security system running. Many people never change these passwords, which helps hackers take control of your security cameras.
To avoid this being a problem for you, always change the default passwords for any monitoring system you purchase. Even a small change is better than no change. Also, don’t use common words or easily guessed numbers (address, birthdays, etc). Strong passwords include a combination of letters (both upper and lower cases), numbers, and symbols. The longer and more varied the password, the better. Be sure to change the password every 45-60 days as an added security measure.
Purchase Through Trusted Sources
Used security equipment, including camera systems, can easily be found for sale through local classified ads. Low prices for used-but-working equipment can be enticing but purchases of this nature come with their own set of concerns. Primarily, does the camera design allow hackers to tamper with them to allow access once the cameras have been installed by an unsuspecting homeowner?
This is a real way hackers take control of home security camera equipment, but this method requires they previously had the camera in their physical possession. Spend the extra money on new equipment as it will be worth avoiding the potential problems that come with previously owned equipment.
Is your security equipment at risk of being hacked?
Some homeowners never think about their security cameras being hacked while others make it a priority to prevent it. Whether or not you think your home security equipment is susceptible to being hacked, no one is totally risk-free. Hackers, just like burglars, are opportunists and an easily exploited route into your home is generally too much to pass up.
The folly is assuming you’re never going to be at risk for as security hack. For home security schemes to work their best, diligence is key. Ask about potential security issues when shopping for, installing, and configuring any security camera monitoring system in your home. Make certain your questions are fully answered and you’re satisfied with what you’re purchasing.
Attention to the smaller, finer details like ensuring remote access is either turned off or is protected with strong passwords, and the equipment you’ve purchased is new and from a trusted source. This will always be to your advantage because these are easily exploited by the bad guys.
SafeWise can help you discover the right security provider and best equipment for your needs. Rely on professional resources for professional results, and help protect your home, family, and security equipment.
Written by John Roskelley
John is a hockey fan, frequent fisherman, and former Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He nerds out to finding new gadgets that help keep his family safe. Learn more