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How to Protect Your Home Security Camera From Being Hacked

Whether you rent or own your home, protecting your property and family is usually top of mind. However, only 17% of homes have a security system in place, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security .

It’s likely those homes are equipped with some sort of a wi-fi enable camera like Nest Cam or Swann Smart. There are several different brands on the market, which can be purchased online, and big-box retailers with the likes of Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy.

But, how safe are wi-fi enabled cameras?

Neil Broom, a private investigator who specializes in cybersecurity, said most people fail to change the manufacture default password once they plug in the device. “Customers plug it in and never complete the initial setup,” he explained.

Although you can never be 100% secure, Neil said there are several things you can do to protect yourself from being hacked at least 90% of the time.

  • Change the name of your router, network and network password.
  • Activate your WPA2 encryption protocols on your router
  • Set up a different network for your guest so you won’t have to share your home-base password with everyone

How can you tell if your wi-fi-enabled camera has been hijacked?

Ameer Ali, of All American Alarm in Fort Myers, said to take a good look at the camera and check to see if the infrareds flicker on and off. “If you see that flashing suspiciously then that maybe someone hacking in,” he explained.

“At that point, I would immediately unplug my camera and go into my network settings and change the password,” he advised.

Ameer also said to check the audio from time to time. “If you hear a muffled sound in the recordings that could mean someone is listening in.”

Additional reporting by Bo Evans