You buy smart video security systems to keep an eye on your home when you are away. But you could be exposing your home to thieves if you are not careful. A hacked smart doorbell can be a doorway to your entire network like your laptops, phones and anything else you have linked to the account. Even the most tech savvy person can become a victim.
“Doorbells can be very vulnerable to hacking, hackers may use them to access your personal information on you whole network,” Leah Napoliello, Vice President of Operations, Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas.
The Better Business Bureau warns about an increase in cyber attacks on home doorbell video security systems. Thieves can gain full access to all of your personal information.
Steps you can take to protect your video security system from hackers
- Create a unique password. It may sound obvious, but Napoliello says it is more common than you think for people to keep the standard passwords that came with the device. So, for example they keep the passwords like 12345 or 00000.
Passwords should be different for every account that lives online, is in the cloud, or is attached to something that retains personal or financial information. Think about the last time any of your online account passwords were changed. If they are all the same or a similar variation of the same password, if they are too easy to guess, or if they are forgotten or compromised - change them.
One good tip here from the BBB is to use a “passphrase.” Your phrase should be relatively long, around 20 characters, and include random words, numbers and symbols. Something that you will be able to remember but others couldn’t come close to guessing, such as PurpleMilk#367JeepDog$.
- Make sure your wi-fi settings are encrypted. Another big security flaw happens when you link up the security camera with your local wi-fi network and don’t make sure it’s encrypted. The best way to protect yourself is to keep the software up to date and turn the auto update on if you can. You can also enable two step verification.
“There are going to be security flaws that come up over time. So if you get the most update to date version of the video doorbell software that does prevent scammers and hackers from being able to access your account,” said Napoliello.
- Avoid sharing videos on social network. Napoliello says you should be careful about what you are sharing on social media.
“There ways that the hackers can take those videos and find a way to access your account in some way by looking at the information just on the video itself,” explains Napoliello.
You should also delete old videos you may have already shared.
- Watch out for fake tech support. The BBB tells us hackers are also creating fake “tech support” websites.
Scammers will post fake customer support numbers online to fool callers into purchasing unrelated computer software or use a convincing script to remote access a device to cause all kinds of technical issues the user didn’t need. Unfortunately, many large companies have been affected by this scam. Or, for example, if you google something like, “Ring tech support” and click on a link, it may not be who you think it is. When you are looking for someone to contact if you have an issue, make sure it’s the actual company.
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