Is Your Home Security Camera Safe from Hackers?

Home automation offers several excellent benefits, from being able to keep tabs on your home while you’re away to offering “set-and-forget-it” options for lighting, temperature and small appliances. While many homeowners enjoy the convenience of remote access to their smart home settings via the Internet, a common question that arises is whether or not a home security camera can be hacked or controlled. This is a legitimate concern, especially in light of the fact that cybercriminals have increasingly become more sophisticated in their ability to exploit vulnerable software systems. Recent news headlines regarding Russian hackers gaining unauthorized access to thousands of private residential webcams, office surveillance cameras and even baby monitors in the U.S. have prompted many homeowners to question whether the home security systems they rely on are indeed secure at all.

Default Settings: An Open Door to Hackers

What often goes under-emphasized is that the way in which most hackers gain access to home security systems has little to do with their own skills or abilities; instead, it has everything to do with the home automation equipment itself. Many home automation systems feature remote online monitoring, which enables you to view–via the Internet–live video footage of what your home security cameras are capturing. The security system typically features some type of app or website that allows you to log in via the Internet and control or monitor each camera as you see fit. Many home automation system providers have these features enabled by default, which means as soon as you open the box and set up your new video surveillance system, you can also remotely control the system through an online interface. While this does provide a level of convenience by making the installation quick and easy, it is also these very default settings that can make your system vulnerable to hackers. You need to be sure that your system allows you to control when this function will be enabled, instead of already having it enabled for you by default.

In addition, many home security camera manufacturers–even some of the big ones–configure their cameras with simple default admin passwords such as “admin,” “1234” or “1111” for the purpose of getting you up and running as soon as possible. The problem is, many homeowners never take the time to change this default password to something more secure and less predictable. By using default admin passwords and a basic set of online tools, hackers have many times been able to gain unauthorized access to the monitoring interfaces that control various home automation systems, and can monitor (and sometimes even control) the victim’s camera at will.

Quality Equipment: A First Line of Defense Against Hackers

Unfortunately, 40 percent of all home security cameras on the market do not give the user the ability to change the default username and password, thus making them easy targets for hackers. The BeHome247 Remote Security Monitoring Package not only allows you to change the username and password, but it actually require the defaults to be changed before your system can go live. This added layer of security will alleviate a large part of the risks associated with remote online monitoring. When setting up a new password, be sure not to use anything that can be easily guessed, such as birthdays, your street address, or any other series of letters or numbers that can be linked to personally identifiable information. Try to use a combination of numbers and letters (both upper and lower case), as well as symbols, for good measure; the longer and more varied your password is, the better. For added security, change your password every 45-60 days. In addition, make sure to install updates on your home monitoring software application any time they become available. These updates often contain important security patches and bug fixes to keep your system free from potential vulnerabilities.

Let’s face it–the excitement of installing a new home automation system can easily cause any of us to become forgetful in terms of taking a few recommended security precautions. Fortunately, BeHome247 has already factored this in, ensuring that your installation will be secure from the start. Just like burglars, hackers often target the low-hanging fruit first, and if they are able to find a common security flaw that gives them easy access, they will take advantage wherever possible. The superior quality of the BeHome247 home monitoring system, along with a robust password, will be an excellent first line of defense to keep your home security system safe from prying eyes.

BeHome247 Wireless Security Camera Package