Most people have some type of security camera – whether outside, inside, or both.
Ring is a popular company that sells “smart doorbells” with video cameras installed.
The camera allows you to see anyone at your door, using an app on your phone, whether you’re home or not.
And Ring also sells standalone cameras you can put around your home.
Ashley L. bought two Ring devices and installed the cameras in her home.
She wanted to keep an eye on her children while she was at work.
So, she set up a Ring video camera in her children’s bedroom.
But according to Ashley, “It was the most terrifying experience in my life.”
She released a video from the camera they had put in the children’s room.
The footage shows someone talking to their 8-year-old through the camera.
The voice on the security camera said, “I’m Santa Claus. Don’t you want to be my best friend?”, prompting the girl to scream for her mother.
The hacker also told the little girl to break her television and mess up her room.
“It was … from a horror film, and I thought this couldn’t be real,” Ashley said.
Ring said there is no evidence that their database or networks were compromised.
The company believes Ashley was hacked because she used a weak password.
But according to a lawsuit, Ashely claims she created a unique and complex password.
Yet, she still ended up getting hacked, and she doesn’t know who was behind the cyber-attack.
Ashley is most concerned because her Ring account has her home address.
In other words, hackers know a lot of personal information about her and her family.
This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last time that a security camera is hacked.
Recently, a security firm found security flaws in 11 popular smart doorbells.
According to the company, the devices they tested are some of the most popular on the market.
The reality is that you can’t trust smart doorbell companies to keep you safe.
You need to take extra security measures to protect yourself.
When it comes to anything online, use a strong password and two-factor authentication.
With that being said, here are a few more security tips when it comes to your smart doorbell.
Don’t share the video.
If you capture video of a porch pirate your first thought might be to share it with the neighborhood.
Whether you’re the captain of the Neighborhood Watch or you just want to share a funny video – don’t do it.
Posting video online hands your information to hackers on a silver platter.
These videos usually have the logo of the camera you own.
They also show exactly where you live.
And if the video includes the house number across the street, it could lead bad guys right to you.
Use your own storage.
When you buy a video doorbell, the company usually offers usage of their cloud storage.
That way you don’t have to deal with video footage taking up all your computer storage.
And typically, the company will charge a small fee of a few dollars.
But these companies don’t practice good cybersecurity when it comes to cloud storage.
One company was found to be sending unencrypted video to their cloud storage.
The thing is, the information stored in the cloud included the Wi-Fi name and password of the customer.
If you have a video doorbell outside of your house, be sure it’s securely attached.
If thieves get the physical device, they may be able to gain access to your videos.
They can also get information about your home internet network.
One of the best things you can do is install a security cover over your doorbell.
Most companies sell these as an add-on.
Also, when installing the doorbell make sure that no wires are visible.
Like in the movies, criminals can cut the wires and take off with the doorbell.
There are approximately 44.7 million smart households in the U.S. alone, and these numbers are expected to increase.
When it comes to smart doorbells, all brands have risks.
The companies who make these doorbells want the user experience to be easy.
But, they leave most of the security measures to the customer.
Check your smart doorbell and make sure you have these security tips in place.