After learning about the security vulnerabilities of the smart security camera, there are valid reasons for your blood pressure to elevate.
Of late, several homeowners who after installing the security cameras were feeling relieved were stunned as the gadget experienced security breaches.
When you purchase the camera from a verified source and check if it supports two-factor authentication. For the rest, focus on making your network security impenetrable, update the firmware, and resist the temptation of keeping the camera online 24/7. Lastly, do not forget to secure the camera itself with a strong password.
If you are reading this right now, you will soon find the way to put an end to your anxiety. Follow the steps mentioned below so that you can use your smart security camera in safe way.
Understand the difference between an IP and a smart camera
Just because a camera supports Wi-Fi, it does not mean it is a smart camera. Most people commit this mistake as they are unable to distinguish between the IP cameras and smart cameras.
That does not mean IP cameras are not worthy; they are. Our lackluster approach towards not securing them correctly often makes us hear about the nightmarish experience of people as their cameras got breached.
Smart security cameras require fewer configurations in comparison to the IP cameras; ideally, you should go for the smart variant if you can bang the buck.
Why are IP cameras most vulnerable?
Before setting out to buy the camera, turn to Google and take a good look at the names of the hacked security cameras. You keep wondering how on earth someone can intrude your security device.
The answer is straightforward if you think. The chunk of these cameras got peered as their default username and password were never changed. As you read on, you will learn about the essential aspects that can let you use your smart security cameras more safely.
Purchase the security camera from a trusted source
With just about everyone trying to cash in the bandwagon of smart home systems, the market has abundant choices. Before falling in for the specs, and looks of the camera, ensure you are buying the gadget from a trusted source.
Rely on the reputed websites, if you decide to buy online. Select a reliable brand that couples with robust customer service.
The smart security camera must be SSL or TLS enabled. If you can find a device that supports SSL encryption, it will guarantee protection from the hackers.
Don’t watch out for the cheap cameras
Remember, apart from focusing on the devices that will secure your home; you have to be dead sure the device itself is secure from various vulnerabilities. For instance, the smart camera will upload the video clips or feed to another server. If the manufacturer is untrustworthy, you are flirting with danger.
You can trust the likes of companies like Nest, Amazon, and Netgear blindfolded. These companies, technological giants for all the valid reasons are very serious about the security of their devices.
You can easily find smart security cameras that cost a lot lesser than the more prominent brands. But, they lack the trust factor to which we are emphasizing time and again.
Reports reveal, a couple of years ago, security cameras from a specific manufacturer were severely affected as they had loopholes. Most of them were found containing hardcoded backdoor passwords that made it easy for hackers to access live feeds from those cameras.
If you haven’t purchased a smart security camera, you can read my smart camera buying guide.
Ensure the camera supports two-factor authentication
Often, you may find a cheap-priced camera to have pretty useful features, but you forget to check if it enables the two-factor authentication. Big players, such as Arlo and Nest, have this provision.
You might be surprised to learn; some of the products from Netgear do not have this feature. So, as you can understand, it is not only about buying the security camera from a trustworthy company; it also should include this indispensable security feature.
Strengthening Network Security
In an attempt to make the camera secure, never overlook the wireless network to which it is connected.
Spare no effort to enhance the security of the network. You can easily do this by configuring the router is using a WPA2- based encryption. Similarly, most of the viewing streams can contain several loopholes.
For instance, when you are at a remote location and gain access to the open wireless network, you are vulnerable to prying eyes.
Chances are, as soon you supply the credentials for accessing the camera feed, someone else can get hold of your username and password and compromise the security.
Even though it is tempting to use open networks as you can save on the data, avoid this practice unless you have VPN assistance.
Resist keeping the camera online
When you know, you have a smart security camera installed at home; you will naturally want to access the live feed on your smartphone.
Ask yourself, do you regularly require monitoring the streaming video? Remember, the camera is streaming data across the internet.
It would use up unnecessary bandwidth, and there is hardly any need for this.
Moreover, it will increase the risk of privacy as bugs can wreak havoc anytime by breaching the security loopholes on these cameras. If you are sure, the stream is secure then only you should keep the camera online 24/7.
Else, you can always maintain a closed network for the device that promises to be on a reliable and robust system. Furthermore, you have the option of disabling the live monitoring when you do not require using it.
By doing so, you can successfully safeguard the device from the possible invasion from the hackers who are always on the prowl.
Secure the camera with a password
If you thought, by securing the network, you have done enough, you are mistaken. The cameras should also be protected with a password.
If you do not know this already, these smart security cameras are not secured by the manufacturers by default. You ought to take the necessary steps and do this manually.
Enable username and password for the device and keep changing it frequently. If previous incidences of hacking are taken into account, the only reason the attackers managed to compromise the device was that people never change their initial credentials.
It looks like a straightforward step, isn’t it? But, practically, the majority of homeowners tend to neglect this aspect. It goes without saying, by making this simple adjustment; you will increase the security of your smart security cameras significantly.
Safe positioning of the security cameras
Regardless of whether you plan to install the camera indoors or outdoors, select the proper place of installation.
Surely, you would not want to install the device in your washroom or the master bedroom. Similarly, when you place it outdoors, finding a safe and comfortable location is indispensable.
It is surprising to note; most people tend to ignore the proper safety guidelines of putting up the security cameras, be it indoors or outdoors.
Kids playing around can harm the device, and the natural calamities like heavy rain, hailstorm, and heat can also damage it.
Although modern cameras are labeled as waterproof, you must locate a comfortable and secret place for it. For your convenience, here is a list, always consider these points when positioning the security camera.
Revealing your home address
Do not point the camera towards the main entrance. Generally, the house number appears on the main entrance, and the rogues can easily get access to it.
Again, pointing the security camera at your door will reveal your daily routine to the world. Hackers will observe your actions and soon get the hang of your timings.
Get enough security cameras
Sometimes, a single security camera may not be enough to protect your privacy. You do not want any part of your home go unnoticed from the eyes of the camera.
If necessary, install more than one camera, but make sure it covers the entire perimeter of your home. Always remember, hacking smart security cameras is astonishingly simple for hackers. So, use them diligently.
Regularly update the camera’s firmware
The manufacturers of the modern-day security cameras provide periodic updates of their firmware. It is an essential aspect that should not be ignored. The aim is to enhance the performance of the device.
If the device develops any bugs over time, these updates will take care of those flaws. Therefore, never forget updating the firmware by checking the manufacturer’s website. If however, you have gone for a smart security camera, you are saved from this ordeal, as it downloads updates automatically.
Smart security cameras supported by Wi-Fi have severe security lags if you do not adhere to these safety measures.
I reiterate, the hackers are always on their toes and can easily hack your camera and watch your daily activities on their phones or computers.
By now, you should have realized; the steps are hardly complicated for using the security cameras at your home safely.
So, always practice the tips as mentioned above, and you can preserve your smart security cameras from being compromised by hackers and have peace of mind.