Is My Webcam Secure?

 

Websites, Baby Monitors, Security Cameras and even Laptop Webcams can transmit over http – the same protocol website browsers use to show websites …Easy to hack if not secured.

 

A friend recently showed me their baby monitor which he said was such a great help – giving him peace of mind as his child slept. It gave them the ability to keep tabs on their baby and even let them hear and speak to their baby in the other room. Excellent – if set up properly. The issue is that this device transmitted everything over their wifi network; which was unsecured. Absolutely no password!!! I would view a network as unsecured if there was not a REALLY SECURE password on the device and the network. If you do not think it is not possible for unscrupulous people to gain access to your baby monitor, laptop webcam or security camera, think again.

Websites, Webcams, Baby Monitors & Security Cameras can all be viewed by others, if not secured properly. 

Is My Webcam Secure? About as secure as a baby monitor or security camera… Only if you secure it!

 

Parents were distressed after hearing unknown people speaking through their baby monitor to their baby late at night. This happened on an unsecured baby monitor network.

 

Recently, New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) had to issue a public statement warning parents to make sure their video monitors are secure. This was necessary after a number of parents complained after they had walked into their child’s room in the middle of the night… to hear men speaking through the monitors to their children.

Security cameras may also transmit over protocols like websites and must be made secure. They are made to give an additional layer of security to your premises but they are often used to help thieves gain information about a premises without ever going to it. Even people with no programming knowledge can access websites that openly transmit unsecured security cameras. These websites allow users to search by criteria like area or type of device and even allow the users to move the camera to their desired position. A simple google search gave access to major Dublin retail outlets and more – all with no programming skills!!

Your laptop camera is an open network if not secured. Although there is not the same number of websites offering to show the view from your laptop, the functionality exists and needs to be considered if you want to ensure that you are not broadcasting your life, live, to the world. If you don’t want people to view your world through your laptops eye – take precautions.

It is shocking to think that even the most secure network is still open to hacking, but you can take steps to ensure that you drastically reduce the chances of people being able to hack your networks.

Is My Webcam Secure? Is My Baby Monitor Secure? Answer yes by doing the following.

 

5 Steps to ensure your network is secure.

1. Change the default password of your wireless router

Wireless routers have default usernames and passwords that can be looked up. Make it hard for hackers!

Open your browser and type in the address http://192.168.1.1 If the router’s password is still set to the default password change it to something strong and make sure that it has special characters and numbers to make it more difficult for people to use brute force software to crack your password.

2. Enable MAC Filtering

This is probably the easiest way to help keep intruders off of your wireless network. You can specify the list of devices that are allowed on your network. Then only the MAC Addresses that you specifically put into this list will be allowed use your Wireless. This method requires you to add devices if you by a new tablet or a friend comes to visit but it is easy to set up. You can view the full steps to allow MAC filtering by clicking here.

3. Enable Encryption

Encryption being enabled will keep intruders off of the network and stop ‘eavesdroppers’ from listening in on your network traffic. The two types of encryption that will help keep your network secure are:

 a) WEP – This is still the most common type of encryption enabled on most wireless routers.

b) WPA2 – This is becoming the most common type of encryption and is enabled on most modern wireless routers. WPA2 is much more secure than WEP but is not available on some older types of Wireless Devices. Enabling encryption on your router only takes a few minutes and there are plenty of youtube clips to show you exactly how to do so – click here to view them.

4. Disable SSID Broadcasting

If you disable SSID Broadcasting, your network will not be as easily found as it will not show up on when people in your neighbourhood are looking for networks to hack. To do so, do the following:

Step A:
Access the router’s web-based setup page.

Step B:
Click Wireless and select Disabled for SSID Broadcast.

Step C:
Click ‘Save Settings’

NOTE: This may be slighly different from router to router.

5. Install ‘Who’s On My Wifi’ Software

Who’s On My Wifi is software that is trusted and easily used to detect devices that are currently using your network. If this software is used, it means that even if people find a way to get by all the above steps and gain access to your network – you will know. It searches every few minutes and will notify you if there are any new devices on your network – simple! You can download Who’s On My Wifi by clicking here. Note: Arrow Design is not affiliated with this software and gain nothing if you do choose to purchase it.

Conclusion

People can and do gain access to open networks. The answer to the question: Is My Webcam Secure? might be ‘no’ unless you take the time to ensure that it is as safe as possible. Baby monitors, security cameras and webcams can use networks to broadcast and a network, just like a website, is only as secure as you make it. If you need help with any issue of your security, please do not hesitate to contact Arrow Design, we are here to help!

…We do more, so you can do less 🙂

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