Who Else Has Access to Your Surveillance Cameras?
| Jun Li
Homeowners and business people install surveillance security cameras to protect their households and businesses against threats like burglary, theft, and arson, as well as to keep their families and businesses safe. Surveillance cameras have proven to be effective in mitigating said threats and have been successfully installed and used by thousands of households and businesses around the world.
But most people never stop to consider the outside threats that could compromise the operation of their surveillance camera systems. Do homeowners and business people have exclusive access to the footage taken by their surveillance systems? What can they do to prevent Internet hackers from gaining access to their systems? In this article, we discuss the various issues involving hacked surveillance cameras and what to do to prevent it.
Security threats due to hacked surveillance cameras
When your surveillance camera system is hacked, you and your family are exposed to various dangers as your system now becomes a tool that can be used by criminals to spy on you rather than as a device to protect yourself with. Among the threats due to hacked surveillance cameras are:
1.Criminals can monitor your every movement around the home such as changing clothes, bathing, or your internet browsing.
2.Your privacy is compromised because criminals can effectively plan how to attack you using the information gained from the hacked surveillance cameras.
3.Burglars and thieves can bypass or disable your surveillance camera system prior to attacking your home.
4.Hackers can use the sensitive and personal videos of you or your family members that they steal to blackmail you for money or other things.
5.Hackers can post your sensitive or private videos on the Internet without your knowledge or consent.
6.Your private moments and day-to-day activities can be streamed to millions of people without your knowledge, forever compromising your privacy.
7.Allows thieves to effectively plan burglaries as they can use your cameras to obtain such information as the time you are going to work, as well as the daily activities of other family members.
With these security threats due to hacked surveillance cameras, how can you protect your security system? According to technology expert Dan Ackerman, some ways to protect your security cameras against hackers are regularly changing your passwords, constantly running anti-malware apps and a good firewall, and ensuring that all your system’s security settings are at the highest levels. Here are additional tips to protect your surveillance system from being hacked:
Additional tips to protect a surveillance camera system from being hacked
- Securing your passwords
Upon the installation of your system, you should immediately change its default password. Be sure that the new password you use is hard to guess. A good password is a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers. Also, avoid using birthdays, telephone numbers and other words and numbers related to you or your family members as passwords.
- Ensuring that you are using a secure router
You should protect your Wi-Fi network as well, with a secure password when using it in combination with your surveillance camera system.
- Buying and installing a system with encrypted signals
When choosing a wireless surveillance camera system, you should select a system that has encrypted signals. Opting to buy a system with an unsecured signal will allow hackers to attack and control your system easily. Hacked surveillance cameras become instant liabilities rather than assets. You should also look for systems with additional tamper resistance features to prevent your system from falling under the control of hackers.
- Discussing your concerns with your security provider
If you are employing the services of a security firm to supply and install your system, be sure to discuss with its representatives the possibility of the system being hacked, as well as their efforts or strategies to prevent hacking.
- Limiting the use of non-authorized devices in your system
To prevent your system from being hacked easily, you should limit the number of devices that are used to access it. Among the recommended devices that should be used to log into your system are smartphones, desktop computers, and laptop computers.
- Make sure that your system’s software is updated regularly
To make your system less vulnerable to hacking, you should update your system’s software regularly. The majority of surveillance camera system providers introduce updates to their systems’ software to improve performance, avoid hacked surveillance cameras, add new features, and counter new threats to their systems. Failing to update your system’s software will make it more vulnerable to hacking.
- Refrain from using a public Wi-Fi when accessing your system
You should never use public Wi-Fi networks when accessing your security system because hackers use such networks to search for passwords and email IDs. You should make sure to use a secure network when accessing your surveillance camera system from a remote location and if possible, wait until you can be sure of a secure network.
- Installing antivirus software on your devices to help protect your system
It is recommended that you install an antivirus program on the devices used to access your security system to help protect your system against possible hacking. According to security experts, firewalls and antivirus software are effective in detecting most threats from virus and malware attacks.
- Conduct regular review of your camera logs
To help ensure that your system is not hacked, you should conduct a regular system check, particularly of its IP history. Regular checking of your camera logs will allow you to check whether someone has tried to access your system from another IP address. Moreover, you should avoid using second-hand cameras in your system as they could be pre-installed with a secret device that can be utilized by thieves or burglars to hack into your system.
- Install an anti-jamming device
You can purchase and install anti-jammers to the devices you use to access your surveillance camera system, as they are effective in detecting a risk of signal-jamming. Anti-jammers will notify you whenever there is a signal failure that could be due to a jamming device.
High-quality surveillance systems using cameras are the best way to protect homes and businesses and each year saves millions in potential losses. The computer age has made application of these systems easier than ever, but unfortunately, it has also opened the door to savvy hackers with nefarious intentions. If you use surveillance cameras, make sure that you take the steps necessary to ensure they are working properly and adequately protected from hacking.