How to tell if your security camera has been hacked
Security cameras provide peace of mind by allowing you to monitor your home or property. You can use the cameras to check if your child is playing in their room, monitor your pets, and even see intruders.
However, if compromised, they can become the watchful eye of hackers, allowing them to watch your privacy and eavesdrop on your conversations.
Here we’ll cover the signs to look for if you think your security camera has been hacked. We’ll also provide tips to prevent hacking from happening in the first place.
6 signs your security camera is hacked
Despite all the advancements in technology, security cameras can still be hacked. Knowing what signs to look out for will help you react quickly in the event of a breach. So here’s how to tell if your security camera has been hacked or is likely to be.
1. Strange sounds or voices coming from the camera
Many security cameras support two-way talk. The Defender Guard Pro 2K Wi-Fi security camera is one example that supports two-way audio, allowing you to talk and listen through the camera.
If you hear unusual sounds or even voices trying to stir up conversation, know that something is wrong. Chances are someone has hacked into your security system and spied on you through the hacked camera.
2. Pan or tilt
While many cameras are static and can see a fairly wide area, a few offer some degree of rotation. Some modern cameras can rotate and move in different directions to capture the best video or image.
An obvious sign that your security system is hacked is that the camera is repositioned. People usually control camera position from app or computer. If you notice the camera moving on its own, someone else, probably a hacker, is controlling it.
3. The password has been changed
When installing a security camera for the first time, you will usually be asked to create a new account with the provider. However, when the security camera app suddenly asks you to enter your password, it’s probably because someone hacked into the camera. Although you may receive an email saying someone changed your password, this doesn’t always happen.
4. Increased data usage
Security cameras usually consume a lot of data by streaming live video to the cloud. If your smart camera is transferring huge amounts of data, especially when you are not accessing it, it may be compromised.
Some camera brands allow you to access data usage charts through camera settings and see when heavy traffic is occurring. You can also check the amount of data transferred by accessing the settings of some routers. And with some routers, you can monitor both data traffic and peak times of day.
Similarly, you can install a firewall program on your computer to keep an eye on your security system and notify you whenever there is an increase in data transfer.
5. Suspicious Login History
Some security cameras come with apps that allow you to monitor your account login history. Check for additional connections, especially from different locations or devices, as these can shed light on who is illegally accessing your camera.
6. Flashing LED light
LED lights are a crucial visual element to inform people. Some camera brands have LED lights that flash when someone accesses the camera. If you are not using your security camera, but the LED lights are flashing rapidly, it may indicate that someone is trying to connect to the camera.
How to prevent your security cameras from being hacked
Your security camera can be compromised for various reasons, but there are things you can do to avoid being hacked. Here are a few.
1. Update your camera firmware
Keeping your security camera firmware up to date is a great way to prevent hackers from exploiting bugs and vulnerabilities already fixed in a recent firmware update.
Some security cameras run automatic updates, so you don’t have to remember them. Others require you to check for updates and install them.
2. Change Default Username and Password
Security cameras with unchanged default usernames and passwords are more susceptible to hacking. Using a long, hard-to-guess password can prevent hackers from gaining quick access to your security system.
When setting up your password, use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. We recommend using a password manager to generate strong random passwords.
3. Enable two-factor authentication
Setting up two-step verification if your security camera supports it will provide an extra layer of protection. With two-factor authentication enabled, a hacker will need more than your password and username to log into your account. Manufacturers such as Ring mandate two-factor authentication when logging into your account.
4. Buy cameras with advanced encryption
Always do your research before buying a security camera and go for reputable brands. Established companies tend to take care of firmware and software issues and frequently release updates to fix known bugs and vulnerabilities.
Reputable brands are hailed for making some of the best outdoor security systems known. Their camera brands often include security encryption features such as WPA2-AES and SSL/TLS encryptions, which makes them difficult to hack.
5. Limit the number of devices used to access your security system
Limit access to your security system to a few devices, ideally one or two. Also, do not use public computers to view your security camera. Consider using a VPN to limit which devices can access your security camera system to prevent possible attacks.
You can also authorize users who meet a particular criteria. For example, allow only selected IP addresses to access your security system.
Stop security camera hackers in their tracks
Like any other technological device, security cameras can be hacked resulting in an unexpected breach of privacy. The results of a hacked camera can be disastrous; attackers can remotely access your security camera, record video footage and demand ransom.
Several indicators indicate that your security camera has been hacked. Abnormal rotations, flashing LED lights, and strange noises coming from the camera are all signs of a possible hack.
Fortunately, using the right security camera, staying alert, and taking precautionary measures can prevent hackers from gaining access to your camera.