The convenience of Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled cameras that can detect and stream movement via the internet and local wireless networks mean they have become a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to keep a watchful eye on homes, offices and other premises.
As their name implies, the cameras offer users the ability to stream vision to internet-connected devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets, to and from anyone, anywhere in the world. However, unless they are protected with a password, the cameras can also be hacked by cyber criminals looking to exploit, stalk and steal. They can use the cameras to break into home or business networks, allowing access to devices and data and breaching personal privacy. They can also be used to initiate cyber attacks by stealing and sharing information.
What you need to do
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends the following steps to secure IP-enabled cameras:
- change the passwords and other default settings on IP-enabled cameras before first use. Follow reputable manufacturers’ instructions from official websites. Learn how to create and remember strong passwords.
- turn IP-enabled cameras off when not in use.
- turn off remote access when it’s not required.
- make sure your home and business wireless networks are properly secured. Learn how to protect your network.
- ensure you regularly update software and operating systems, and apply patches on all of your devices, including smartphones and tablets. Learn about updates.
- follow all instructions when installing and configuring IP-enabled camera settings, according to advice from official manufacturers’ sources.
If you believe your IP-enabled security camera has been hacked, you can lodge a report with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
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