Tony Loughran recently appeared on CH7 Sunrise TV Australia and provided the following tips to ensure your CCTV system remains secure from hackers. This is in response to an ABC news story revealing Russian Cyber Hackers were streaming images of Australian Businesses from cameras controlled by the hackers.
Wireless webcams and Internet Protocol (IP) cameras aren't as secure as you might think and images and video content can be used for the following: theft, data hijacking, extortion, & in extreme cases kidnapping. The above risk has now increased greatly due to the fact that we’re now working from home a lot more than pre COVID, and we literally don’t have the IT protection of a Corporate Office and get complacent with our own home security.
However, here are some easy things you can do to protect your WiFi home security system, including webcams and security cameras from hackers.
Tip 1: Make Your Home Wireless Network Secure
Ask yourself the question? Do I really need internal cameras in the house and if yes try and avoid wireless cameras and equipment and ensure that all your equipment is “hard wired”
Remember if you can see anything around the house then having a wireless system allows others too tap in and see it as well.
Tip 2: Securing your WiFi Network
Securing your WiFi network is crucial and also the most basic thing you can do to protect your WiFi IP cameras from being violated by hackers. This may include using WPA2-AES encryption method, changing a stronger password for home router, changing the default SSID name, turning off guest networking and more things you can think of.
Tip 3: Create a Strong Password for WiFi Cameras
You may forget to create a password or even misunderstand that it is impossible to set a password. The fact is, this leaves an open door for hackers to easily gain access to the device and, through the device, to the wireless network to which it's connected.
Some of you may not change the default password of WiFi monitoring systems after purchase. This is extremely dangerous. Thus, change the default password and choose a strong one. It is better to combine letters, both upper and lower cases, numbers and symbols. The more complicated a password is, the more difficult it is to be guessed. Website tips about how to hack IP camera passwords can also give you clues for creating a stronger password, which is hard to be hacked.
Tip 4: Turn off Remote Online Monitoring
Many Wifi systems enable surveillance cameras to support remote viewing, so you can monitor your home even when you are away. But there is a hidden concern that an app or website is able to remotely log into your security camera, which can be exposed to hackers. So consider turning off this feature when you are not about to use it.
Tip 5: Update the Camera's Firmware Regularly
Usually manufacturers of WiFi cameras would update their firmware to enhance performance especially when some flaws come out. So keep updating firmware for the latest one. You can check camera manufacturer's official website and see if you can update.
Tip 6: Purchase a WiFi Camera from a Trusted Source
When you are choosing a new wireless camera system, there are quite a few sources for you to choose. You can find various wireless security cameras buying sites, like Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and some trusted company websites, where you can see versatile CCTV Camera brands Always remember to choose a reliable one with good customer service.
Make sure your WiFi security camera enables SSL or TLS, and also supports SSL encryption which will protect you from prying eyes.
Tip 7: Disconnect Your Webcam When You are Not Using It
The application Webcam On-Off is developed especially for those who have laptops or computers with a built-in webcam. You can turn off your webcam whenever you want. This application avoids any kind of problems derived from the possible invasion of your webcam.
You can also disconnect the USB webcams desktops, or disable it in the BIOS or operating system. The latter methods may also be useful to disable the microphone on desktops and laptops as well.
Tip 8: Cover the Lens of Your Webcam
It may seem absurd, but since hackers developed malware able to see us and hear through the webcams and microphones you have to take some drastic measures.
Luckily, tapes are still a way to protect you from cyber threats and they are extremely easy to use and accessible to everybody. When there is a need to use your webcam, you can simply remove the piece of tape and put it back after you use it. A good tip to leave no adhesive residue on the lens is to use the adhesive in conjunction with a piece of paper.
Tip 9: Beware Password Recovery Emails
The option to recover a forgotten password that is present in almost every service can be a real problem nowadays. Only a few people know that this service is a prime target for cybercriminals. There are several people who care about this sort of thing, but imagine this: what would happen to your digital life if a hacker had access to your Gmail account you use to recover all of your passwords? The best alternative to solve this is to use complex e-mail addresses that are used solely for this purpose.
Tip 10: Complement Your Machine Protection with Anti-Malware Programs
The safety tip that Windows users usually listen to is ”to install and update the antivirus on your computer”. This is a good tip, but an anti-virus is unable to detect all kinds of virtual threat.
Therefore, you should opt for one protection tool against malware and to do periodic scans using anti-malware tools. Having those programs installed, you will not only protect yourself from malicious files and sites, but also be able to identify and remove the viruses that are endangering the proper functioning of your computer.
Tip 11: Secure Your Outdoor Home Security Camera
Installing your outdoor home camera in a safe, comfortable place is also an important point, but often ignored by most people and those popular safety guidelines online. Outdoor security camera damage does happen in daily life. So, to secure your WiFi cameras outdoor should also be on your list. This mainly includes 2 things: preventing your camera from being destroyed by burglars, and protecting it from harsh weather, like heavy rain, intense cold and heat. Although many wireless surveillance cameras are waterproof, it is better for you to choose a protected place, and also a secret one in case of burglars
Since WiFi image and video cameras have serious security weakness, high chances are that someone somewhere hacked into your WiFi camera and were watching you over a laptop or a smartphone. Consider these tips above-mentioned to preserve cameras from being hacked, and improve security of your WiFi enabled home camera.