10 Ways You Can Protect Your Home Security System Against Hacking
Seeing pictures of your bedroom posted online can be alarming. Hearing a man shouting from your security camera can be more than frightening. If these things were to happen to your home, how would you feel?
Apparently, in the world of connected homes and Internet of Things, these cases aren’t rare. In fact, Hewlett-Packard’s recent study tells the same tale. Around 70 percent of today’s smart devices belonging to the Internet of Things (IoT) has several vulnerabilities. Hacking is a reality and it places not only your home but also your personal information at potential risks. Frightening possibilities, right?
Fortunately, there are several ways to get ahead of those clever hackers. Here’s a list of things you can do to better protect your home and yourself.
1. Find a reliable brand.
Take time to study the brand first. You can browse for reviews or directly ask the company what it can do to keep you and your data safe. There are systems that are capable of using high level encryptions to make sure that no one else can see your videos and pictures.
2. Change your passwords and do it frequently.
Using default passwords makes your system easier to hack. It’s like leaving the door already half open for smart hackers. While it can be tempting to include personal details and birthdays on your passwords, it’s still wiser if you avoid doing so. Instead, you can consider using these tips.
- Try a 12 digit password you can easily recall. The longer your password, the more secure it is.
- Try incorporating numbers and capital letters in those 12 digits. If punctuation marks are allowed, you can try including one or two of them.
- Avoid names and known places as much as possible.
- If you already have one in mind, you can run it against a password checker just in case you have any doubt.
- If you can’t think of one, there are several known methods you can use in creating secure passwords. For one, there’s the Bruce Schneier’s method.
3. Protect your router.
Like your security system, you can also make your home more secure by protecting your router with an effective password. You can use the same ideas as above. However, make sure you don’t use the same access codes for your system and router.
You can also try hiding your router by manipulating its configuration to make it invisible. However, you have to keep in mind that doing so doesn’t completely make your router invisible. Instead, it only makes your network not easily seen on basic and automatic searches. If a hacker is too advanced, he can simply look for a tool and use it to find your network.
4. Avoid using public wi-fi.
As much as possible, try not to access your automation devices at home using public wi-fi connections. This makes you more prone to hackers getting access to your personal informations. You can try using your mobile data service or find a more secured connection before you click connect.
5. Upgrade your apps and firmwares.
The reason why companies keep updating their firmwares is to fix bugs and glitches as well as to add security patches. By complying with the updates, you are arming yourself with better protection against hackers.
6. Double check your logs.
Most of the time, the easiest way to know if someone has been messing around with your system is by checking your camera logs. There are several security cameras that can show you the IP addresses that accessed your cameras. If you find a suspicious one on your log, immediately change your access codes and notify proper authorities.
7. Put up a firewall.
Make sure you have a firewall in your network to prevent unauthorized access to your devices. If you don’t have one, you can browse the internet to know your best options on firewall downloads.
8. Secure your mobile phone
Most of today’s home security systems are controlled through mobile applications and this is what makes your smartphone very important for your home’s security. Keep it in mind to always have it protected.
For one, you should avoid logging in to your system while in public places. Someone near you could be waiting for your password. Also, make sure that no one else can access your phone by securing it with a password lock. You can also install a track app just in case you misplace or lost your phone.
If such event happens, make sure to immediately remove your phone’s access from your security system and report the incident right away.
9. Manage your camera settings
Including a camera in a home security system is a must these days. It can allow you to view online what’s happening at home even if you’re on the other side of the world. However, with the same feature, you can also be exposing yourself to potential hackers.
A security camera is set for remote online monitoring by default during your purchase. This feature makes it possible for you to keep an eye on your home in real time through a specific app or website. It also makes it a possibility for hackers to use your own camera to spy on your home. Scary, right?
If you can go by without remote online monitoring, turn this feature off. However, if you feel that it’s a necessity to keep the feature, then guard your home and your system by a strong password. It can also help if you strictly position the cameras to face only the areas they’re supposed to monitor. Avoid including your living room or your bedroom entirely.
10. Build a separate network
One downside of having a connected home is that it’s connected. Once a hacker is able to get access to one of your devices, it’s not impossible for him to get access to everything.
As a preventive measure, you can try building a separate network solely intended for your home security and your home automation. Keep it separate from your computer and your phone. This way, when someone gets access to your phone, you’ll be able to protect your security system.
There are several devices, tools and apps that you can install to keep your home safe.
However, you also need to arm yourself with vigilance to make your security system even stronger. After all, nothing is more secure than a prepared home.