IP cameras are taking off. Just look at the stats of projected growth. With this comes some major risks. Do you know where your camera is coming from and how secure it is?
Take this creepy example where a couple were using a Foscam camera to monitor their baby. Little did they know that someone allegedly gained access to the camera and heard the hacker talking through the camera. That’s just plain creepy. At least they were able to find out. What about the cases where you don’t know your camera is hacked and someone is just watching. Simple Googling shows how easy it is to get access of your IP camera. The problem has become so large that even the FTC has jumped in on manufacturer TRENDnet.
The sad story is that it is so simple to fix this with just two simple tips and 10 mins of your time. Even other IP camera companies has issued their list of steps.
- If nothing else, make sure you have a password set! Some cameras don’t require you to setup a password during the setup. Select a password that is secure, again most cameras don’t check for a strong password. For extra security even change the default username. Many cameras use “admin” or “root” as the username, changing that gives the hacker one more thing to find.
- Update your firmware. It is likely that camera flaws were found after release. Most cameras have updated firmware to fix these security flaws.
If you follow these two simple steps you are far beyond the typical consumer. One last warning: buyer beware. You can easily buy very cheap cameras on e-Bay or any other site. These very cheap cameras are very enticing because they are fully functional with tons of features. But do you really know where they are coming from? For example I keep seeing the brand name called “IP camera“. The brand is not even on the camera and it is difficult to know who it is from. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with these cameras, but who is held accountable if something goes wrong?
Have fun monitoring, just remember to make sure that it is ONLY you monitoring.