Protect Your Cameras from Hackers

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Reviewed by IT security expert Pete Canavan

Security cameras are a key ingredient to home security, but they’re not so safe if other eyes gain access to them. Follow these guidelines to make your security camera footage safer.

People use security cameras to watch their kids, their pets, and even their Amazon deliveries. But without the right precautions, you might not be the only one watching.

The good news is you can keep hackers and snoops out of your live feed by taking a few precautions from the start. We’ll show you how.

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How to make your cameras more secure

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1. Start with your home Wi-Fi

Your home Wi-Fi network is the gateway to all your smart devices—phones, laptops, smart TVs, and yes, security cameras.

So when’s the last time you changed your Wi-Fi password?

Get in the habit of changing it regularly. Long, complex passwords with unique characters are best. And avoid reusing passwords.

Use WPA-AES encryption on your devices. Most IP security cameras (the ones that connect to Wi-Fi) can encrypt your video feed, making it harder for hackers to watch. So double-check your camera app to make sure you have that feature activated.

Ring has end-to-end encryption for select devices that's easy to set up. 

And never ever, ever use the default login info for your devices. They may be easier to remember when setting up your Wi-Fi, but they’re also easier to hack. The same rules also apply to your camera.

Protect your smart home

Want to safeguard your smart home devices too? Our guide outlines how to keep your smart home safe from hackers.

2. Beef up your camera security

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Like your home Wi-Fi, your camera needs a strong digital lock. Most security cams require a username and password during setup. But that isn’t always enough.

Use an original, complex password for your camera, and change it frequently.

Some cameras have more security features like encryption or two-factor authentication. Check yours to see if they’re available. If they are, enable them to make your feed a little safer.

Cameras like those from ZOSI have local storage options, keeping your footage off the web entirely. Also look for Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras—these wired cameras are more secure than wireless cameras. 

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Weak Wi-Fi protections?

Learn how to secure the internet connection within your home to keep your family’s virtual environment and your smart home devices safe from outside influences.

3. Limit your remote monitoring

It can be hard not to check your camera all the time, especially if you have kids or pets at home. But leaving the camera app on all day can open up your video feed to hackers.

Think of it like leaving your front door open while you’re gone all day. So go ahead and check in on the baby or new puppy, but just log out when you’re done.

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Where should you put your cameras?

Find out where you should and shouldn’t put your security cameras in our camera placement guide.

4. Update your camera

When you update an app, it might seem like nothing’s changed. But many updates improve firmware and boost security.

Cyberthreats evolve and advance every day, so it’s important to have the right defenses for cameras, smartphones, and all your devices.

It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll get rid of those annoying reminders.

Final word

Whether inside or outside, security cameras are a great way to protect your home. But while these devices are convenient, they’re not perfect. With a few simple precautions, you can make your security camera safer.

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