If you haven’t already, it might be time to upgrade from analog security cameras to an IP security camera system. IP security cameras are easier to use and connect to your home network. Your surveillance feed is more readily available and can be accessed remotely, and your storage space can easily be expanded or adjusted based on your individual needs.
While there are many benefits of upgrading, IP cameras can be more vulnerable to hackers. The good news is that these issues can be combated with smart security measures. Here are some things to consider to protect your IP surveillance feed.
Keep your firmware up-to-date. Manufacturers are always watching for any system or security vulnerabilities. When one is found, they work hard to address the issue and inform their customers of the necessary firmware update. Pay close attention to these notifications so that your system is secure. Checking your camera manufacturer’s website can also help, in case you don’t receive, or happen to overlook, any notifications.
Keep Cameras Local
Plain and simple – if you don’t want your feed to end up on the Internet, don’t connect your cameras to the Internet. Keep your cameras on a local network with non-routable IP addresses (ex. 192.168.0.5 or something similar). Though, even with this measure, your cameras could still be exposed by software that sets up port forwarding or uses UPNP to expose your cameras to the Internet. Be sure to visit your camera manufacturer’s website to learn how to set them up in local-only mode.
Any password can be better than no password at all. Most cameras do not have password protection for video feeds set on default. After you install and set up your cameras, be sure add password protection to secure your feed. Create a username and strong password, and make sure you change it periodically to increase security.
Do your cameras come with default usernames and passwords? Change them immediately after setup and installation. This is the easiest way for hackers, or anyone, to gain access to your feed.
When it comes to wireless cameras, the only network you should connect it to is a WPA2-encrypted wireless network. Encryption adds protection and will keep hackers away.
Think about the placement of your cameras. Only place cameras in areas inside your home that you are comfortable with being monitored. No matter how secure your system is, there is a chance a new vulnerability has not been found yet and you could become the victim. Remember, when in doubt, leave the camera out.
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Sure, you’ve heard of network IP cameras, but do you really know what they are? From the outside, network IP cameras look like your standard security camera. However, network IP cameras are much more than what meets the eye.
IP stands for “Internet Protocol” which is a practice of transmitting data across a network. In the case of network IP cameras, that data is digital surveillance video. These cameras have their own IP addresses so that they can connect directly to a network, allowing them to function in any location with a network connection.
Network IP cameras are connected to a router through an Ethernet cable, which enables two-way communication between the computer and camera. Because the cameras record in digital format, there is no need to convert from analog to digital, allowing for faster transmission. One of the biggest draws of network IP cameras is their capacity to deliver much higher resolution images than analog cameras.
Network IP cameras require Network Video Recorders, or NVRs, to record and store data. NVRs allow you to manage and store your recordings on your computer. Because network IP cameras require lots of bandwidth, other IP technology exists where everything can be processed within the camera itself. Attaching an external hard drive device allows you to store data, while removing the need for an NVR and eliminating bandwidth usage.
Along with the versatility of being installed wherever a network connection is available, these cameras allow live feed access from remote locations. Remote surveillance provides an added sense of security as you can check in on your feed at any time.
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By now, you may have heard of the website that hacks into various security camera feeds that have not changed the default names and passwords for their systems. The supposed goal of the site is to “show the importance of security settings” by making various business and home security camera footage available to Internet users.
As disturbing as this website is, it is important to get the word out on how to secure your IP security camera system. Use these tips to keep your private security camera system private.
Change The Default Admin Name And Admin Password
If you haven’t already, please change your account names and passwords. As previously stated, the security cameras were accessed because users failed to change the default names and passwords, allowing anyone with internet access and patience to login to their accounts. Keep password requirements on and choose strong passwords. Try to use different passwords for every account, with 10 or more characters including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. The stronger the password, the harder it will be to hack into your system, keeping your business or home safe from strangers’ eyes.
Keep Each IP Camera Secure
Connect your IP cameras to your local network and assign non-routable internal IP addresses. For help with this, you may need to contact your IP camera manufacturer. Take it a step further by password protecting each camera as well. You may need to manually turn this feature on after set-up. It may be tough to keep track of all your passwords, but it will be worth it to keep your surveillance feed secure.
Read The Fine Print
Be sure that your system uses encryption to protect your data, especially if you’re using wireless cameras. Encrypted data provides yet another measure to protect against hackers. Also, be sure the website in which you access your live feed begins with “https” vs. “http” as the former possesses added protection.
Keep Firmware Up-To-Date
Keep an eye out for firmware updates as they address any vulnerability issues that may arise. If you miss an update, your system may be susceptible to prying eyes. Your manufacturer will likely post alerts on their website, so you may choose to subscribe to their website or set personal reminders to periodically check for updates yourself.
Be Mindful Of Security Camera Placement
Place cameras in locations you wouldn’t mind strangers seeing. Don’t place them in areas that would make you feel uncomfortable or where there is an expectation of privacy. In the unfortunate event that your system becomes compromised, you’ll at least know what people can and cannot see.
As we implement security measures in the form of security cameras and systems, it is always wise to secure these devices as well. Security cameras help us conveniently monitor our properties while we’re away, but if the wrong people gain access, not only does it violate our privacy, but we can become targets. Prevent hackers from gaining access by utilizing the tips mentioned above.
Your safety is important to us. For the best affordable, high quality security cameras, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To speak with us directly, you can call us at 1-888-203-6294. Our offices are open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.
The switch from an analog system to an IP camera system can be daunting to some people. Since analog systems have been around for some time, many people have grown familiar with the way they work. Learning how to use a whole new system can be difficult. While some may have an easy time converting to the new system, others may be faced with a challenge.
The problems posed with switching from an analog to IP camera system can be traced to the system going from hardware to more software. When you’re familiar with secure, physical connections, troubleshooting with IP networking equipment may be fairly difficult. For those accustomed to hardware, it’s harder to see or visualize the problems.
For an IP system, when coming across problems, the security team may not be able to troubleshoot on their own. Working with the IT team may be necessary. Personalities may clash simply because these teams are not used to working together, causing more issues to arise.
Larger scale roadblocks for upgrading can be cost and down time while switching out equipment. Purchasing a whole new system can be a hefty expense. Also, down time can leave your business vulnerable to threats. However, the benefits may outweigh these hardships.
These issues shouldn’t deter you from replacing your old system to an IP system. The best solution is to introduce IP security cameras and equipment slowly. The first step would be to invest in a hybrid video recorder. This will allow connection to both analog and IP security cameras. Integrating both types within your system will allow your expenses to be spread over time.
This will also allow users time to get familiar with the new equipment without abandoning the former system entirely. And with the new IP security cameras comes new, more advanced features, ultimately improving your security system’s performance. Aside from that, this eliminates down time for your company, keeping your business secure while integrating a new system.
Switching to a new system should not be feared. Following these simple tips can ease you into the new software and make the transition much smoother. You will end up with more confident employees and a more advanced system.
Find great IP security cameras, IP/Hybrid systems and more online at SecurityCamExpert.com. If you need help finding the right parts or have questions about security systems in general, give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.