After deciding to invest in a security system, the last thing you want to worry about is hackers. Unfortunately, no security system– whether it be DIY or professionally installed– is completely immune. In fact, any device that has internet access can theoretically be hacked. Nonetheless, there are numerous best practices that, when implemented, can drastically lower your chance of a security breach. But first, let’s discuss the back-end procedures that security systems developers already have in place to protect against unwanted access.
How Vulnerable Is Your Security System?
First, most professionally monitored systems use end-to-end encryption– a secure communication process that “scrambles” messages. This encryption process prevents any unwanted third party from accessing data while it is moving from one device– like a security camera– to another, such as a mobile app. In turn, it is necessary to ensure any applications linked to your security system are up to date at all times. This action alone will drastically lower your risk of being hacked.
Additionally, security companies that utilize technicians and professional installers also have their own strict guidelines to protect against any internal tampering. And after news surfaced in 2020 about an ADT technician who had been spying on hundreds of customers for nearly five years, numerous security companies have become more transparent about their strict personnel procedures.
For example, Comcast now limits exactly how much technicians can access while helping customers. Some of these restrictions block technicians from adding additional email addresses to security accounts, while others prohibit access to any security footage.
Resolute puts access privileges into their own customers’ hands. Only they can decide who is granted access to their security feeds. And, internally, the company conducts regularly scheduled audits of all systems.
So, How Can Your Security System Be Hacked?
There are two main ways that a hacker could gain access to your security system’s feed. One is local, while the other is remote.
For a security system to be accessed locally, the hacker would need to be physically on your camera network or within a certain distance of the wireless network your system is linked to. Once on the network, there are numerous ways to infiltrate the network– such as guessing your password or jamming the network altogether. However, local hacks are highly unlikely to affect you since this kind of security system attack requires strong intent, personal targeting, and often physical access. In turn, this method should not be a large concern.
On the other hand, remote hacking is a much more common method of unwanted access breaches since they can occur from anywhere. For example, a data leak in which your login information ends up in the wrong hands may be enough. Or, using the same password for numerous accounts on the internet can also increase your security risk.
Will You Know If Your Security System Has Been Hacked?
Unfortunately, security breaches can be very hard to detect without the help of professionals. One red flag to watch out for, though, might be worsening security camera performance. If a hacker is attempting to access your camera, you may notice slower system processing. Still, slower performance may also be a result of poor internet connection among other factors. So, it is important to make conscious security decisions, beginning right when you purchase a security system. Regular monitoring of your system by your security partner is often the best way to identify a hack.
Steps To Protecting Your Privacy
First and foremost, make sure that any security system you purchase is from a reputable manufacturer. This is necessary regardless of if you prefer a DIY device over a professionally monitored system. Additionally, ensure that all cameras purchased use end-to-end encryption in order to prevent any third-party access.
There are also numerous precautionary steps that you can take as a user. For example, make sure that any login credentials cannot be easily guessed or inferred. Moreover, your security system password should not be a phrase used for any other accounts on the internet. Another essential step is ensuring that your security system firmware is updated as frequently as possible. Finally, you can even implement two-factor authentication to make any hacking attempts much more difficult.
Stay tuned for next week, where we will dive deeper into how to protect your privacy in three key areas.