Internet security cameras – commonly known as IP security cameras – are becoming an increasingly popular way to improve home security. Many people use these cameras to keep an eye on their home, children or pets when out of the house. In fact, at the end of 2021, over one billion surveillance cameras were estimated to have been installed worldwide.
These cameras work by sharing a live video and audio stream of your home, which can be accessed by an internet browser or mobile application.
Despite the benefits of IP cameras, many of these solutions are not as technically robust as they should be. Ironically, these cameras can often be exploited for digital snooping, so you need to be careful about the device you choose.
How Can IP Cameras Be Exploited?
An internet protocol (IP) camera enables you to view your property through software that streams a video and audio connection over the internet. You can typically login to these cameras from any device as long as you have your credentials.
Trouble arises, though, when the IP camera fails to encrypt the data it transmits between the camera and your browser. Unless you have the right security solutions in place, any one in the world could potentially access this information, putting your privacy and security at risk.
With that in mind, here are the security features you need to consider when purchasing an IP camera.
Secure Wireless Transmission
A good IP camera will have solid security credentials. We strongly recommend choosing a camera that supports current wireless security protocols such as WPA2.
Secure Internet Transmission
When you access your camera’s video feed outside of the home, your camera transmits the information to your device from the internet. As mentioned, if your camera doesn’t offer encryption, this signal is vulnerable to hijacking.
So, look for a camera that encrypts your data. Ideally, it will encrypt all data: your username, password and the live streams. It’s easy to see if a camera does this. Just look for the SSL/TLS encryption standard.
Chances are, you may want your spouse or a family friend to be able to access your camera feeds to support surveillance. If you choose to do this, we recommend making use of the different access levels.
The administrator, for example, will have the most privileges. They can change the settings, passwords and move the direction of the camera. You don’t want everyone to have these controls. Instead, use your administrator account to restrict what guest users can do.
If you’d like support with this, check out our home services. We can help you with setting up your camera and other digital solutions in the home.
Using Security Features
Now that you’ve bought your IP camera, there are a few more things to do to boost your security.
Ensure You Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Like your computer and applications, your camera manufacturer will push out regular software updates that remediates found weaknesses. Download these updates as soon as they become available. You should receive notification of these updates either via email or your mobile application.
Change Your Password Immediately
Your camera will come with a preset password that you can use to set up the device. Change this password immediately to a strong, complex, unique password as default passwords are often public knowledge, making your device easily hackable.
Using the Camera While Out and About
Now that your camera’s secure, it’s time to bolster your mobile security so that you can access your camera safely no matter where you are. .
Regularly Update Your Mobile App
Update your mobile app regularly by checking the app store for the latest updates.
Use Biometrics And Passwords For The App And Your Device
If you lose your mobile phone, you don’t want anyone to be able to access your applications and the camera. So, protect your device using a PIN or biometric login – like face ID – where possible. You can also enable a password and biometric login for the application for an additional layer of security.
Avoid Insecure Wi-Fi Connections
Avoid using public Wi-Fi spots. These often have weak security. They’re particularly vulnerable to man in the middle attacks, where hackers corrupt the Wi-Fi network in order to snoop on all communications that pass through it – including your private video streams.
Instead of using public WiFi, choose to use your mobile data to check your security camera or wait until you can connect to a trusted WiFi source, like your office.
Need Help Choosing Or Securing Your IP Security Camera? Chat To Us!
Connect2geek.com can proactively protect your home computers and security cameras. With our Protect IT Plans, you’ll have the peace of mind that your technology is always in good hands.
Ready to improve your security? Contact Connect2Geek at 208-468-4323 or reach us through our contact form.