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Protect your smart security cameras from hackers

Man setting up smart camera in home securely

Smart home security cameras are a convenient, affordable way to keep your family safe. These devices allow you to monitor your front door and other rooms in your house when you're on the go by way of an app on your phone. Smart, right?

But you still need to be careful. It rarely happens, but hackers can access your security system just like anything else that's connected to the internet.

Here's the good news: There are simple things you can do to keep the cybercriminals out.

At Asurion, we fix and protect your tech. We can also help you secure your home network, whether you want to prevent ZoomBombing or set up a VPN. Here's our guide to protecting your smart security cameras from hackers.

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How to secure your smart security camera

The purpose of a smart security camera or a smart doorbell camera is to keep your home safe. The last thing you want to worry about is someone breaking into your wireless network. Here are a few things you can do to protect your security camera from hackers:

1. Buy a camera from a well-known brand

Choose a camera from an established, trustworthy manufacturer, like Ring®Nest, or Eufy®, so you'll get quality customer service for security issues and regular software updates, which keep your devices protected.

2. Select the most secure Wi-Fi settings

On your home Wi-Fi, make sure you're using the highest degree of Wi-Fi security available. Choose WPA2, or if it's an option, select WPA3. Never use a public Wi-Fi network for your camera.

3. Change the default password on your device

Next, you should change the factory default password that came with your security camera. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Make sure your password is complex, hard-to-guess, (don't use “123456"), and doesn't contain obvious personal information, like your name or birthday.
  • Don't use the same password for your camera that you set up for another device. Change your passwords often, or even better, set up a password manager.

4. Change your default user and network names for your Wi-Fi router

When you install your camera, make sure to change the default user and network names for your Wi-Fi router—if you haven't done so already. The default ones are way too easy for a hacker to access online. Manufacturers typically print instructions on your router for how to change the names.

5. Use a firewall

A hardware firewall, which may be built into your Wi-Fi router and modem, can help prevent hackers from accessing your smart home devices, including your security cameras. If you don't have one, consider installing a firewall to help keep your network safe.

6. Use two-factor authentication

Many smart cameras offer two-factor authentication, an extra security measure that sends you a unique code—usually to your phone—anytime you sign into your account from an unknown device. Without the code, you (or a would-be hacker) can't sign in.

7. Update your software

It's crucial to check for regular software updates for your security camera to protect it from hackers and malware. You may not get automatic update notices, so make sure to periodically check for updates under Settings in your camera's mobile app and install updates if they are available.

Signs that your security camera may have been hacked

It's a terrible feeling and, thankfully, it's extremely rare, but here are some signs your smart security camera may have been hacked:

Poor performance

There may be a simple explanation, like a poor internet signal, but if your security camera is struggling to work properly, you may have been hacked.

Strange movements or noises

Is your security camera moving more than it usually does? Or maybe it's working slowly or you're hearing strange beeps, clicking, or even an unfamiliar voice? These could be signs that an unauthorized person is controlling your camera.

Flickering LED lights

If you notice the indicator lights on your camera blinking or turning off unexpectedly, it's possible you've been hacked.

Login problems

If your password won't work or you see an unknown user on your account, someone may have gained access or tried to gain access to your network.

Settings changes or notifications

Do you see settings changes that you didn't make? Or, did you get notifications of actions you didn't take? Your camera may have been compromised.

Increased data usage

Check your network's recent data usage. If it's much higher than usual, a hacker could be transferring footage from your camera.

What to do if you think hackers tapped into your security camera

If you think your security camera has been hacked, immediately disconnect your device from the internet by unplugging its network cable or turning off your Wi-Fi.

To protect yourself right away, check out the steps we mentioned previously. Wondering about the security of your other smart home devices? Check out our guide to smart locks.

Make sure your smart home is protected

An Asurion Home+® protection plan provides coverage for nearly all the technology in your home with one simple plan. Laptops, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, smart thermostats, and so much more—even future purchases. Plus, you'll get 24/7 live expert support and robust digital security. Learn more about Asurion Home+® coverage and how you can get peace-of-mind electronics protection.

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

Digital Security
Smart Home
Home Tech

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