IP security cameras, sold by big box stores and on the Internet, are the hottest trend in DIY security. Popular with business owners, soccer moms and even pet owners who want to see how Fido or Fluffy spend their day, these webcams and home automation devices are popping up everywhere. While the lower cost of IP (Internet protocol) cameras have made them very attractive, maintaining them is not so simple. If you don’t regularly monitor and update your IP cameras and IP based security systems, you are giving hackers open access to your home.
IS SOMEONE SPYING ON YOU THROUGH YOUR WEBCAM?
In 2016, a woman from Houston, Texas was horrified to learn that her 8-year-old twin daughters’ bedroom was being live-streamed to the general public. The mother, who had installed cameras in her home to keep an eye on her three daughters, didn’t learn of the frightening intrusion until an Oregon woman happened upon the livestream and made a public Facebook page to alert the parents, according to ABC News. The hacker had accessed the camera system when her daughters, unknowingly, connected to an unprotected server to play a video game with friends. As unsettling as this incident is, it is not that unusual.
HAVE YOUR SECURITY CAMERAS BEEN COMPROMISED?
Alarming as it is, unsecured cameras can give hackers unwanted access to your home. How can you tell if your webcam security system has been hacked? Some of the telltale signs you’ve been hacked are:
- The small indicator light on your laptop webcam is on and you didn’t enable it. Unfortunately, this indicator can easily be disabled by a hacker without your knowledge.
- Do you hear noises or voices coming from your camera? Or, is the camera rotating or following your movements about the room? If so, hackers most likely have accessed your devices
- You should also check to see if your security settings have been altered. Oftentimes hackers will reset the password to default.
SECURE YOUR NETWORK
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is use a strong password. Most security cameras use a default password, which, if not changed, can give hackers easy access. Anyone within range can intercept your wireless network. It is imperative to change these default settings and change it often. Use a strong password and don’t give it out to friends. If you have overnight guests, change your password when they leave. You should also limit the number of devices – phones, computers – that can be used to access security cameras. Also keep in mind baby monitors, laptops and anything else connected to your network can be hacked if your system is not secure. This includes home automation devices that can turn on lights and even unlock doors. It is strongly recommended you change the default password on your router. If you need assistance, the professionals at Delco Alarm Systems can help.
REGISTER YOUR EQUIPMENT
If manufacturers discover a flaw in their software that could enable hackers, updates are necessary. If you register your security equipment you should be notified of any updates. Keeping your software up to date helps to outsmart hackers. Not only can criminals use your cameras to breach your privacy, they can also use them to case your home and carry out a burglary. If you discover your security cameras have been hacked, it is advisable to hire a professional to restore your system. Delco Alarms can assist you in the restoration and can help strengthen your defense against hackers. Delco Alarms has a variety of DIY systems with many features to meet your individual needs – from basic security systems to a system that includes smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, water detection as well as home automation controls. We also offer more forms of communication for your system, including cell, WIFI and IP.
Contact the professionals at Delco Alarm Systems to help you select the best solution for you. Our Service professionals are there to assist you with your installation and answer your questions.