The Risks of WiFi Home Surveillance Cameras and How to Protect Against Them

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The Risks of WiFi Home Surveillance Cameras and How to Protect Against Them

Finding home security devices that are both effective and cost-efficient is very important. Just as important is understanding the functionality of the devices you’re buying. This is especially true when equipping your residence with WiFi home surveillance cameras that connect to your home’s Internet service. While having the ability to see what’s going on in and around your home when you’re gone has its advantages, connecting a home surveillance system to your Internet has its risks. 

What is a WiFi Home Surveillance Camera?

WiFi home surveillance cameras are typically wireless cameras that provide users with the ability to view the exterior or interior of their residence. Unlike traditional surveillance cameras that provide video feed through a closed circuit TV, WiFi camera systems transmit data via an Internet network. 

Benefits of WiFi Surveillance Systems

WiFi camera systems offer residents several benefits. For one, the system can alert you whenever someone approaches your home. It can also allow you to see who is at your door when someone comes knocking. If a crime were to take place, the system can provide important video footage of the perpetrator. 

While most residents use WiFi home surveillance cameras for security purposes, some use them to check in on their children and pets while they are away from home. Some even use them to monitor their babysitters.

The Risks of WiFi Home Surveillance Cameras

The controversy involving WiFi surveillance cameras revolves around the risk of someone than the intended user gaining access to the system. This risk is very high for residents that fail to adequately secure their home Internet networks.

Though each WiFi home surveillance system requires users to set up a password for remote access, such systems are prone to being hacked into, especially when users use weak passwords. When you think about the breaches that have occurred of prominent banking and government organizations such as Capital One, Experian, and the Pentagon in recent years, it helps to put into perspective how vulnerable an everyday resident’s home surveillance system can be against a criminal with hacking knowledge.

Residents with a wireless local area network (WLAN) have an even higher risk of a breach of their WiFi home surveillance cameras. This is due to the weak security of WLANs compared to that of wired Internet networks. Though using a strong administrative password can help decreased this risk, it is not full-proof against professional hackers. 

While it’s scary enough to have a nosey neighbor or ex-spouse hack into your home surveillance system, it is even scarier to think of a criminal being able to view various aspects of your home, your life, and your loved ones. 

Tips for Securing Your WiFi Home Surveillance Camera System

One of the best ways to secure your WiFi home surveillance system against unauthorized access is to customize the system’s security settings. Using a strong username and password that is unique and free of familiar names or numbers is very important. Changing your passwords every 2-3 months can also decrease your risk. 

A home surveillance system with authentication (i.e., WEP and AES) and encryption features  can also make you less prone to security breaches. Such features increase the security of data that gets transmitted via a home Internet network. IT security experts recommend a 128-bit encryption at the very least.

If your home surveillance camera system offers 2-step verification when logging in, be sure to make use of this feature. This will require anyone who attempts to login to verify their identity via a special code that gets sent to a pre-programmed email or cell phone number.  Without this code, the person cannot log into the system.

Protect Your WiFi Home Surveillance System from Prying Eyes

Home surveillance cameras can be an effective residential crime deterrent. But like any remote device that utilizes your home internet network, such devices aren’t without their risks. To ensure your privacy and security against unwanted users, take the necessary steps to optimize the security of both your WiFi home camera system and your Internet network.