Making sure your home security system is protected from hackers

(Photo: KXLN-TV / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Most parents have baby monitors to keep up with their little ones.

Now imagine a stranger, hacking into your baby monitor and talking to your baby. It happened two years ago, and the story went viral.

The story left many wondering how do you make sure the technology you buy to keep your family safe doesn’t let anyone else into your family home.

Related: Hackers using Facebook quizzes to get your personal info

Experts say there are ways to protect yourself.

Sarah Parent loves her new surveillance cameras. They let her see what her newborn twins and toddler son, are doing at all times.

“When we’re at work, we can peak in and there’s a two way talk feature, so in addition to the safety we like being able to peak in on our kids,” said Parent.

She and her husband Andy, who works at WATE 6 On Your Side’s sister station WISH-TV, made the investment last month.

“Unfortunately crime is going up everywhere, and anything we can do to protect ourselves and our family, that’s important definitely,” said Parent.

But before she invited another set of eyes into her home, she did lots of focused research. Parent wanted to protect her family from hackers looking for ways to get a hold of her personal information.

Related: Experts weigh in on best home security systems

“They’re going to go after you,” said Daniel Ford. “They don’t care who you are, what you do, how old, young, rich, poor, it doesn’t matter, they just see a number on a screen and see a possibility.”

Daniel Ford works for Rook Security based in Indianapolis. Employees are paid to find vulnerabilities in security systems, and fix them.

“There is never a 100 percent guarantee and that’s the scary thing with security,” said Ford.

He says no system is fool proof and putting technology in your home, can be like leaving your front door wide open if you don’t protect yourself.

“They can go in there, put a password in there that’s not yours,” said Ford, “Add a new user, change your password back, and he has full access to it. he can turn it on, turn all the lights off or do whatever he wants at that point.”

That’s why the steps Sarah took, were so important. She changed the default username and password on her account, she has secure protected Wi-Fi, and she made sure she bought a camera that has strong tech support, from a company that is constantly updating their software.

“You don’t have to let the attackers win,” said Ford. “You don’t have to let them make you feel like you’re afraid, you can actually just disconnect it if you feel like it’s not doing the right things.”

Parent says after doing her due diligence, the cameras make her feel more safe.

“It let’s me concentrate a lot better,” said Sarah, “and focus on things that I need to, that peace of mind.”

Rook experts recommend having a professional security company come out and do a security audit for you.

But even without that, when you buy a home surveillance camera you want to ensure the following:

  1. The company you buy from has excellent tech support
  2. The system you buy is updated frequently
  3. Invest in a VPN (Virtual Protected Network)
  4. Buy a separate router for only your security devices
  5. Change your default username and password
  6. Change your passwords every few months
  7. Make sure you regularly check for software updates

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