How to Keep Your Internet-Connected Security Devices Safe From Hackers

Whether you want to protect the safety of your home or your business, installing a good security system can certainly do the trick. There are many options for different security systems, each with its own advantages. Many of them are wireless because they are linked to the internet. This makes their installation much faster to complete and less impactful on the home.

Internet-connected security systems can also provide various other added benefits and features, such as remote monitoring and automatic alerts that can be sent directly to your phone when your alarms are triggered. However, one downside to internet-connected security systems is that, like anything with internet connectivity, there is a possibility they can be hacked.

Fortunately, the chances of getting your security system hacked are very low, and there are measures that you can take to decrease the likelihood of that happening even more. Most high-quality security systems come with built-in features that limit their possibility of being hacked; however, there are many ways you can optimize these features for ultimate protection. That way, you can always count on the reliability and integrity of your security system.

What Makes Security Systems and Cameras Vulnerable to Hacking?

Hackers are typically able to hack when system vulnerabilities can be exploited. Some security systems have vulnerabilities that can make them a target for hackers. Fortunately, it is within your control to eliminate some of these vulnerabilities to improve the effectiveness of your security system and minimize the likelihood of it getting hacked.

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Here are the 5 most common vulnerabilities that security systems have:

1. Lack of Passwords

Many security systems that are remotely accessible can be linked to mobile applications, which is how you can monitor your property no matter where you are. These apps often require you to set up passwords to access them. However, just like email passwords, or any password for that matter, if your password is not long or complicated enough, it is vulnerable to hacking.

2.  Data Breaches

Occasionally security companies suffer from data breaches, which occur when hackers break into their systems and steal information they have stored about their users. If this stored information includes user login credentials, hackers can access the security systems of anyone using the company’s systems.

3. Lack of Encryption

Data breaches have the potential to be much worse when a hacker has access to data that is unencrypted. The encrypted information is only visible on the users’ end and the service provider’s end when a secret key of some sort is shared, which makes it harder to steal.

4. Lack of Authentication

A strong password helps reduce your security account’s vulnerability, but sometimes, even a strong password is not enough to keep talented hackers out. You may still be vulnerable if an advanced authentication system is not in place. Multi-factor authentication provides much stronger protection because it requires you to enter a temporary secondary password that is typically sent to your account’s phone number or email address.

5. Lost Devices

When devices like mobile phones or tablets are lost, those devices can be easy to access because they are not password protected or the password is weak. If someone else finds such a device and accesses it, along with its security applications, the whole security system is then compromised.

The Most Common Types of Security Attacks in Ontario

Although hackers can take many different approaches when they are interested in hacking something, some are more common than others. The same is true when it comes to security attacks in Ontario. Here are the 5 most common cyber security attacks Ontarians face:

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1. Phishing

Phishing is the term applied to hacking situations in which a hacker finds clever ways to try and get a user to send them their username and password. This often involves the hacker impersonating legitimate websites and sending emails or texts to the user to trick them. The hacker can easily view their credentials if they send them a link that leads to a fake login page, and the user inputs their username and password.

2. Man-in-the-middle attacks

A man-in-the-middle attack relies on programming. A hacker finds ways to capture data packets from the user by intercepting information they send that pertains to their username or password.

3.  Programming attacks

Aside from man-in-the-middle attacks, there are other ways a hacker can use programming to access a system. They may sometimes use a program that evaluates the system’s flaws and vulnerabilities. Once such vulnerabilities are scanned, the hacker can search for ways to gain administrative access to an account.

4. Brute-force attacks

Brute force attacks are a little more rudimentary. They involve a hacker attempting to guess a user’s password repeatedly until they guess correctly and gain access. However, this method is much less efficient when websites block user access after several wrong password attempts.

5. Physical access

When a hacker can physically access a device containing sensitive information, there is no longer a need for a clever hacking strategy. They can access the information they require simply by looking through the device’s contents.

How to Protect Your Internet-Connected Devices

Although some security vulnerabilities that hackers take advantage of are beyond your control, many things are within your power to address.

Firstly, it is important to choose your devices wisely. There are plenty of smart security devices in Ontario. Some of them have stronger built-in protection than others, and usually, a bit of background research can help you discern which ones are better protected.

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Sometimes apps create default usernames for you, but changing your username in cases when that happens can make it harder for hackers to access your account. Always use strong passwords that are long and unique, and never share them with anyone, especially not via text or email.

When you are given the option to use multi-factor verification, make sure you use it. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi whenever possible since they often have no security features. Finally, check app permissions carefully; otherwise, you may grant them access to more information than you would like to share.

Why it is Necessary to Minimize Your Risks While Using the Internet

These days most devices you use are probably connected to the internet in one way or another, and any device connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking.

Unfortunately, that even includes security systems. However, making yourself aware of the approaches that hackers typically take when they try to gain access to accounts and systems gives you an advantage.

If you know the vulnerabilities they seek, you can take steps to protect yourself and your system from those vulnerabilities in most cases. A lot of the time, simple things like increasing the complexity of your password and using multi-factor verification can complicate things enough for a hacker that they may give up on hacking you and move on to an easier target. Therefore, it is always worth taking the abovementioned measures to protect yourself and your internet-connected devices.

Author Bio

Jessica Coates is a blogger in Toronto. She graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing. Jessica Coates is a community manager for small businesses across Canada. When not working, she leisurely studies economics, history, law and business solutions.