Home owners and renters are becoming more and more vigilante in protecting their homes and themselves.  These days security cameras of some sort are becoming a standard request with any security system.  Unfortunately, with the increased number of security cameras being used, so too is the increase of malicious attempts to hack the same system set up to protect you.  An unsecured security camera may actually give thieves the insight into your daily routine and access to your security codes. Protect yourself by following these tips:

Protect your password – make sure you use a strong password for your WIFI and your app., change it often, and make sure not to give it out to anyone.  Have a unique password for each item and use 2-factor authentication whenever possible.  The Alarm.com app can be configured to require 2-factor authentication. 

Protect your router – it is almost second nature these days to make sure you have a secure password on your Wi-Fi; however, it is common practice to leave the factory setting on your router.  Make sure to use the same guidelines for passwords on your router, remember it connects to all your equipment.  If you are still using the default password that came on the side of your router, it’s time to change it.

Never use a public or a neighbor’s Wi-Fi to access your security system- doing so puts you at greater risk for being hacked.

Update your Firmware whenever applicable- Stay on top of updates to both your cameras and your app. 

Choose Wired not Wireless Cameras- Install cameras that are wired, not wireless.  Nest, Ring and several other DIY cameras are wireless, making those cameras easier to hack.  Make sure you are inquiring about wired as a first choice, only in the rare instance that wiring cannot be installed, then resort to wireless cameras.  Consider installing a wired camera that sends its information to a secure server, not just the Internet. Most of the DIY cameras on the market accept inbound traffic, thus knowing the cameras IP address and password would allow a thief to gain access to the camera. By utilizing a secure server platform, all video is stored securely in the cloud and can only be accessed by a user login/password as well as 2-factor authentication.

We recently had a client contact us because they unfortunately where broken into. None of their Nest cameras recorded any video.  The intruder, disconnected the power to the router in the home when they first entered and knowingly knocked all the wi-fi cameras off the network.  Therefore, they couldn’t review any video clips/footage.  To work around this from happening to you, make sure your cameras record locally as well to a video server somewhere in the home hardwired to the cameras or each camera has its own micro SD-card built inside.  One of these options will ensure that you have something to show the authorities if in fact your connection to the Internet is compromised.

Note: To install a wired camera could take several hours, and may take using an extension ladder with 2 technicians on site, but isn’t your security worth doing it the right way?

Have your cameras installed and monitored by a professional- Many DIY cameras are wireless and while they may be easier to install, are more vulnerable to hackers because they are often set up incorrectly.  Aside from having the expertise of a professional installation, a monitored system ensures that your home is being monitored 24/7, the monitoring company can track events as well as dispatch emergency personnel if necessary.   

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