DIY home security systems are all the rage. After all, you want to make your nest safe for family and friends. A DIY system is easy to purchase and install. But is it the best security for your home? Potential intruders may still be able to get around your security or through your cameras. Your system could be hacked.
Hacking a Home Security System
The difference between wired or wireless security systems is obvious. Both can be hacked. But you are more likely to be hacked through a wireless system than a wired one.
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Jamming any wireless device is possible and that includes a home security system. All a burglar needs is a laptop and a portable radio frequency transceiver. They can block the signals from your door, window or motion sensors. This allows them to enter without tripping the alarm.
If the intruder knows the security system being used, it makes it easier. Putting that yard sign announcing your security equipment may not always be the best deterrent.
Besides physically breaking into your home, a hacker can take over your cameras.
Ring Alarm Security came under fire in 2019 when a smart home security camera in a small child's bedroom was hacked. A stranger was talking to and watching an eight-year-old girl.
In another instance, a couple in Tennessee had their security system shut down. A voice spoke through the Ring camera demanding a ransom paid in bitcoin or they would be terminated.
Consider also: Do Smart Doorbells Bring Peace of Mind?
How Are Security Cameras Hacked
There are two ways to get hold of your video: locally or remotely. To attack locally, the intruder needs to be close to your wireless network. They use several methods to access. They can guess the security passphrase with brute force. Spoofing the wireless network and jamming your actual Wi-Fi network is also a possibility. A local attack is not likely to affect you. These are individually targeted.
A remote hack is usually more likely to happen. This is when a data breach occurs with a large company that has your login credentials. Unfortunately, your information is in the wrong hands, and it can be used to hack your cameras.
Consider also: What Are the Components of a Ring Alarm System?
Jamming any wireless device is possible and that includes a home security system.
How to Know if You’re Hacked
If you hear noise coming out of your wireless security cameras, that should be a red flag. And although a camera's slow performance may be due to a bad internet connection, according to some security experts, it also can be a sign of malicious activity. In addition, since most security camera systems have limited memory, they may have to work harder or not work at all if an attacker hacks them.
Protect Your Wi-Fi Router
Change the default password to a strong password. Make sure to change it periodically. Don't give anyone your login credentials unless you absolutely trust them. Enable encryption on your Wi-Fi router. This is a security feature that only uses codes your devices can read. Another way to protect your router is to update the firmware consistently. Set the router to update automatically. If nothing else, visit the manufacturer's website for updates.
Your router may have a feature called Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). This is often turned on as a default. It can be used as an entry point for hackers. If you're not using it, turn it off. Always turn off any features that you don't use.
Security settings called WPA2 are common with most routers. This is the industry standard. The new version is WPA3. But if you only have WEP or WPS, you should purchase a new router.
Consider also: What Are the Components of a SimpliSafe System?
Protect Your Security Camera System
Some measures you can take to protect your security camera system from being hacked are similar to the router's measures. Change your default password and update your firmware by always installing updates when available.
Always use a mobile app-based security camera system. You should never connect cameras to your home's Wi-Fi. If you use a mobile app, there is a lower risk of it being hacked.
Make sure you enable two-factor authentication. You'll receive a passcode. This isn't your password; it's in addition to your username and password. The hacker may figure out your password, but they can't hack you if they don't also have the code.
- Security: Can Home Security Systems Be Hacked
- Consumer Reports: Ring, Simplisafe and Three Other DIY Home Security Systems Vulnerability
- CNET: Are Your Home Security Cameras Vulnerable to Hacking?
- ADT: How to Protect Your Home Security System
- Washington Post: She Installed Ring Camera in Her Children’s Room for Peace of Mind and a Hacker Accessed it and Harassed her 8-Year-Old Daughter