How to Secure Your Wireless Security Camera
Security cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home, children and pets, ensuring everyone is safe and sound. Wireless cameras have made this even more convenient by making it possible to keep an eye on things in real-time and remotely. That being said, anything that’s connected to the internet and able to transmit sensitive information poses a privacy risk. This past week we saw this come to light with a story about used Nest cams that continued to be accessible to their old owners even after they’d been reset and sold to new ones.
While this issue doesn’t seem to be widespread and was addressed by the manufacturer quickly, it served to remind us that it’s important to keep security in mind when using security cameras. Here are a few things you can do to help make sure that no one can access footage captured by your connected security camera but you:
Update Your Camera’s Firmware
Like all your other devices, wireless security cameras often get firmware updates from the manufacturer. It’s important to install these updates as soon as possible to ensure that security vulnerabilities are being patched before a hacker can exploit them. To update your camera’s firmware, head on over to your admin console.
Don’t Connect Your Camera to the Internet
Sure your camera is network capable but does it really need to be connected to a network to serve its purpose? If you don’t need to access the feed remotely and in real time, I recommend keeping your camera offline, which eliminates the risk of having your footage accessed online by an unauthorized individual. To keep your camera offline, consult your camera’s manual to find out how you can use the camera in local-only mode.
Rename Your Camera and Assign a Password
Your camera likely came out of the box with a generic name and password (or no password at all). As you can imagine, these generic names and passwords are not difficult for hackers to figure out, so it’s important to change them during set-up. Give your camera a unique name and a secure password that isn’t easy to guess. Remember to change that password periodically as well.
Use a WPA2 Encrypted Network
If you haven’t done so already, you should make sure that your home network is WPA2 Encrypted, which protects the traffic on your network from unauthorized access. This is a basic network security measure that I recommend to absolutely everyone with home network. As you might guess, connecting your camera to a network that’s WPA2 Encrypted protects that feed from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Position Your Camera Appropriately
While the tips above might seem quite technical, one of the best ways to protect your privacy when using a wireless security camera is to use common sense. That is, don’t position your camera where it could capture footage you wouldn’t be comfortable having strangers see. This means keeping security cameras out of bedrooms and bathrooms because, even if you’ve taken all the precautions mentioned above, there is still a possibility that a security vulnerability could be exploited before it’s patched or that an industrious hacker could find a way onto your network.