6 tips to keep your home security system secure

If you have a home security system, it might be vulnerable to individuals with malicious or mischievous intentions. That’s because it uses Wi-Fi — meaning someone can break into it. The footage that your cameras pick up could potentially be made public or used for nefarious purposes. This can include private video and audio which would allow someone to spy on you.

There are ways you can protect yourself from this possibility, and most of it is pretty easy to implement. In fact, most of them are essentially just a matter of practicing good security habits with your Wi-Fi network and passwords.

Let’s take a look at a few of the things you can do to prevent intrusion into your Wi-Fi cameras.

keep your home security system secure

1.   Protect your Wi-Fi and your cameras with strong, unique passwords

There’s a good chance your cameras have a password system separate from your Wi-Fi credentials. Make sure both have passwords that are difficult to guess or crack — and never use the default credentials. This means using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters that are different for each system. It’s important not to use any words that can be found in a dictionary or any personal information, such as your name or birthday. If possible, use a password manager, which will automatically generate strong passwords and store them in a database protected by a master password.

2.   Use the firewall that came with your cameras

Most cameras come with firewalls, making this a simple fix. Some may be on by default, but others might not be. Go into your camera’s configuration and ensure that the firewall is turned on.

3.   Make sure your router supports WPA2 and use it

Your router security is directly connected to your camera security. If someone has access to your Wi-Fi router, they’ll likely be able to get into your cameras, too. To help prevent any unwanted intrusions, use the WPA2 security setting on your router. You can find this option on your router’s configuration page, which can usually be accessed via your browser, or sometimes on an app downloaded to your smartphone.

Virtually all modern routers support WPA2. If you discover that your router doesn’t, it may be time to upgrade.

4.   Enable two-factor authentication

While not a ubiquitous feature on camera security systems, many of these devices have support for two-factor authentication. This makes it so an extra validation step is added whenever someone tries to log into your system. Usually, this means that after you type in your password, you’ll receive a code via text message or email that you have to enter to access the platform. These codes are temporary and change every time you log in, so they can’t be guessed or cracked.

5.   Keep your home security system updated

The manufacturer of your home security system will occasionally release firmware updates that fix exploits and make it harder for bad actors to break in. Use automatic updates if possible. If your system only supports manual updates, then it’s a good idea to stay on top of when these firmware releases are available to download. As an extra incentive, these firmware updates also commonly feature performance improvements and bug fixes.

6.   Turn off your cameras when you’re not using them

You probably don’t need to have your cameras on when you’re home. Many camera systems have an automatic shut-off feature to detect when it’s safe to shut the system down. If the security platform is offline, then it won’t be possible for cybercriminals to access it.

Total Defense can help you enhance your family’s online security practices. For more tips, visit our blog.