Today’s technological advancements have made protecting your home easier than ever. With notifications and video footage accessible on mobile devices, you can even have your home’s security system in your pocket wherever you go. While this is an excellent tool for monitoring and protecting your home, home security systems can be vulnerable to hackers, just like any other modern-day technology.
The evolution of home security has brought a new meaning to the term “home invasion.” Hackers can now virtually intrude your home through security cameras placed inside, which becomes an intrusion upon both your safety and privacy. This is not said to make you fear installing an advanced security system, but simply to ensure you are aware of hacking warning signs and the steps you can take to prevent falling victim.
Below are a few ways to prevent hackers from accessing your home security system.
- Choose a complex password for your security account. This should include at least 12 characters and a combination of numbers symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters. Do not use any personal information, such as names, birth dates, etc., as this will weaken your password.
- Ensure your Wi-Fi router is protected with a strong password that is different from your camera password.
- Utilize two-factor authentication if it is offered with your camera system. This adds an extra layer of security to prevent a hacker from logging in, even if they have your password. For example, this extra measure requires you to verify your identity using a one-time code sent via text or email.
- Always keep your camera’s firmware up to date. The software that runs your camera is often being updated to prevent any security breaches. Missing an update could potentially make your system more susceptible to hackers.
- Avoid installing cameras in very private places, such as bedrooms and bathrooms. If someone were to get into your system, these are the last places you would want them to have visual access.
Think you’ve been hacked? Here’s how to know and what to do next.
- You hear strange sounds or voices coming from your camera. No matter how small the sound, you will want to investigate it. Many cameras offer two-way communication, and a hacker may actually try to speak to someone in the home.
- The LED light is on. Many cameras have a light that will turn on when someone is accessing footage remotely via the account. Be aware of your camera settings, so if you see a light appear and the accountholder is not the one accessing footage, you know there is an issue.
- Your camera pans, tilts or moves when it should be static. This may indicate someone has gained access.
- A new or unknown email has been added to the account or is listed in the login history of your account.
- Your password has been changed. If you receive an email communication stating you requested a password reset and that is not the case, you should immediately become suspicious and proceed to change your account passwords.
- If you believe your camera or system has been compromised, immediately contact your security company. Whether it is a password change or firmware update, being proactive could help you quell any vulnerabilities in your system.
Remember, a potential hack to your system is no reason to live in fear. Cameras and advanced systems are still great ways to prevent home burglaries and to maintain peace of mind while you’re away. As long as you take the necessary precautions and pay attention to any abnormalities with your cameras or security accounts, you will likely never have to deal with an unwanted hacking situation. But, when it comes to something as important as protecting your home, it pays to be a bit overly cautious.
Reviewed July 2023
Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.