Are WiFi cameras safe? WiFi Home security cameras are designed to minimize the risk of intruders and ensure family safety. However, where there are benefits of those wireless home surveillance cameras and baby monitors, there are also potential security concerns for them. How secure is your WiFi-enabled monitoring cameras?

Hacked security cams are pretty dangerous. Research shows thousands of WiFi cameras have been hacked. (Go to hacked security camera list for more details.) A site once revealed 73,011 unsecured cameras in 256 countries. ABC news also reported a baby monitor hacked to watch and control a 2-year-old kid. How ironic. Devices offering security guarantees can actually be used by hackers to invade your privacy, and eventually violate your security. Therefore,how to use WiFi surveillance cameras safely, i.e. how to prevent wireless IP camera hacking, has been of great urgency.

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Part 1. How WiFi Enabled Surveillance Cameras Get Hacked?

Searching Google, you will find certain hacked wireless home security cameras list. Maybe yours is in the list. But how does someone hack into your IP cameras?

Most of those hacking WiFi cameras in the unsecured IP camera list got peered into due to default password or lack of password protection.

What’s worse, some WiFi cameras lack elementary security features. They fail to support SSL/TLS encryption, which makes IP cameras video surveillance footage vulnerable to hackers. And users’ lack of awareness to security between cameras and the router also lead to WiFi cam hack issues.

Online security consultant E. Homakov, explained that hackers also use technique called “clickjacking” to deceive people. Those applications have HTML and CSS codes that create an almost invisible type of source on the files created. This source places the “allow” near something that the user can click, such as the “play” button. So when the Internet user chooses the option to close or play content, they are actually permitting someone to access their webcams and IP cameras.

The question is, how to improve safety of WiFi security cameras? Just read the following about some handy tips to help prevent wireless home cameras from being hacked.

IP Camera Hack List

Part 2. Tips and Tweaks to Safeguard Wireless Webcams and IP Cameras

Wireless webcams and IP cameras aren’t as secure as you might think. But fortunately, here are some easy things you can do to protect your WiFi home security system, including webcams and security cameras from hackers.

Tip 1: Make Your Home Wireless Network Secure

Firstly, securing your WiFi network is the first and also the most basic thing you can do to protect your WiFi IP cameras from being violated by hackers. This may include using WPA2-AES encryption method, changing a stronger password for home router, changing the default SSID name, turning off guest networking and more things you can think of.

IP Camera Hack Software

Tip 2: Create a Strong Password for WiFi Cameras

You may forget to create a password or even misunderstand that it is impossible to set a password. The fact is, this leaves an open door for hackers to easily gain access to the device and, through the device, to the wireless network to which it’s connected.

Some of you may not change the default password of WiFi monitoring systems after purchase. This is extremely dangerous. Thus, change the default password and choose a strong one. It is better to combine letters, both upper and lower cases, numbers and symbols. The more complicated a passwords is, the more difficult it is to be guessed. Website tips about how to hack IP camera passwords can also give you clues for creating a stronger password, which is hard to be hacked.

Prevent WiFi Camera Hacking

Tip 3: Turn off Remote Online Monitoring

Many WiFi enabled surveillance cameras support remote viewing, so you can monitor your home even when you are away. But there is a hidden concern that an app or website is able to remotely log into your security camera, which can be exposed to hackers. So consider turning off this feature when you are not about to use it.

Hacking into Home Security Camera List

Tip 4: Update the Camera’s Firmware Regularly

Usually manufacturers of WiFi cameras would update their firmware to enhance performance especially when some flaws come out. So keep updating firmware for the latest one. You can check camera manufacturer’s official website and see if you can update.

Hacked Home Security Camera Website

Tip 5: Purchase a WiFi Camera from a Trusted Source

When you are choosing a new wireless camera system, there are quite a few sources for you to choose. You can find various wireless security cameras buying sites, like Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and some trusted company websites, where you can see versatile CCTV camera brand. Always remember to choose a reliable one with good customer service.

Security Cameras and Security Systems

Your Best Security Camera or Security System Solutions; Plug and Play; 5MP/4MP Super HD; Smartphone Remote Access; Night Vision & Motion Detection

Make sure your WiFi security camera enables SSL or TLS, and also supports SSL encryption, which will protect your camera from prying eyes, just like Reolink cameras do.

Safeguard Wireless Cameras

Tip 6: Disconnect Your Webcam When You are Not Using It

The application Webcam On-Off is developed especially for those who have laptops or computers with a built-in webcam. You can turn off your webcam whenever you want. This application avoids any kind of problems derived from the possible invasion of your webcam.

You can also disconnect the USB webcams desktops, or disable it in the BIOS or operating system. The latter methods may also be useful to disable the microphone on desktops and laptops as well.

Secure WiFi Webcams

Tip 7: Cover the Lens of Your Webcam

It may seem absurd, but since hackers developed malware able to see us and hear through the webcams and microphones you have to take some drastic measures.

Luckily, tapes are still a way to protect you from cyber threats and they are extremely easy to use and accessible to everybody. When there is a need to use your webcam, you can simply remove the piece of tape and put it back after you use it. A good tip to leave no adhesive residue on the lens is to use the adhesive in conjunction with a piece of paper.

Protect Webcams from Hackers

Tip 8: Beware Password Recovery Emails

The option to recover a forgotten password that is present in almost every service can be a real problem nowadays. Only a few people know that this service is a prime target for cybercriminals.

There are several people who care about this sort of thing, but imagine this: what would happen to your digital life if a hacker had access to your Gmail account you use to recover all of your passwords? The best alternative to solve this is to use complex e-mail addresses that are used solely for this purpose.

Use IP Camera Safely

Tip 9: Complement Your Machine Protection with Anti-Malware Programs

The safety tip that Windows users usually listen to is “to install and update the antivirus on your computer”. This is a good tip, but an anti-virus is unable to detect all kinds of virtual threat.

Therefore, you should opt for one protection tool against malware and to do periodic scans using anti-malware tools. Having those programs installed, you will not only protect yourself from malicious files and sites, but also be able to identify and remove the viruses that are endangering the proper functioning of your computer.

Prevent WiFi Security Camera from Hackers

Tip 10: Secure Your Outdoor Home Security Camera

Installing your outdoor home camera in a safe, comfortable place is also an important point, but often ignored by most people and those popular safety guidelines online. Outdoor security camera damage does happen in daily life. A mom of a 5-year-old naughty boy said that, her security camera installed outdoor was once destroyed while her son and other kids were playing.

So, to secure your WiFi cameras outdoor should also be on your list. This mainly includes 2 things: preventing your camera from being stolen by burglars, and protecting it from harsh weather, like heavy rain, intense code and heat. Although many wireless surveillance cameras are waterproof, it is better for you to choose a comfortable place, and also a secret one in case of burglars, for installation.

Wireless Security Cameras

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WiFi Security Camera Safety

Since WiFi image and video cameras have serious security weakness, high chances are that someone somewhere hacked into your WiFi camera and were watching you over a laptop or a smartphone. Consider these tips above-mentioned to preserve cameras from being hacked, and improve security of your WiFi enabled home camera.

  • Cris A

    Just installed my ReoLink system and video to my computer and phone was easy and high quality. I wonder about the above suggestion to update firmware. The Reolink instructions said only to upgrade firmware if support said to. Should we be proactive to update firmware or wait until a problem crops up and I have to contact support?

    • Hi Cris A,
      The firmware upgrade will not only fix some bugs but also keep you with updated features. So it is suggested to upgrade to the latest version when it is available and do not wait until a problem crops up. You may check /firmware/ if your Reolink system can get upgraded.

      • Cris A

        I find my 16 channel nvr has the latest firmware, but when I select for it to check for latest firmware it comes back with error message the the check failed. Also my camera, RLC 423, has older firmware but not clear how to upgrade it. Do you have step by step instructions for doing these things?

        • Hi Cris A,
          I’m really sorry that the checking function is not availiable currently. Our support team is now working hard on it. To download the latest firmware, please visit our offcial website: /firmware/.
          You may also subscrib our newsletter to get email notifications for latest firmware.

          • Cris A

            I downloaded the new firmware for my RLC 423 camera and printed your included instructions. when I select the camera in the ReoLink Client, then choose the ‘Remote Config’ button and then choose Maintenance from the Device Settings page and the settings page comes up but it does not have a button for ‘Firmware Upgrade’

          • Hi Cris A,
            Are you using the latest Reolink Client? You may upgrade it and try again. If that doesn’t work, could you please contact our support team via support@reolink.com and attach a sreenshot to it? You will get one-on-one instructions to help you slove the problem.

          • Cris A

            Ok, figured it out. I had to upgrade the camera software from the NVR, not from the Reolink Client on my PC. I think you may need to differentiate between customers who have their PoE cameras connected to an NVR and also use the ReoLink client from customers who do not use an NVR. Some things can’t be done from the client if an NVR is used. All is working well now and I’m pretty happy with my system.

          • Hi CrisA,
            Sorry for the inconvenience caused. And thank you for your suggestions and I’ve forwarded them to our R&D team. I’m really glad to know that you enjoy our Reolink system.

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  • Clint Pearce

    Could you tell me more about the encryption your NVR systems use to stay safe online?

  • Amanda

    Hello Clint, thanks for your interest in Reolink products. All Reolink cameras and systems are encrypted with SSL encryption, WPA2-AES encryption, and SSL-TLS enabled, so that they will be very hard to get hacked.

    For more detailed information about the encryption technology adopted, you may visit: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/reolink-secures-ip-cameras-by-enabling-multi-level-security-features-300368634.html

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  • Przemek

    The easiest solution is to:
    1. Create a separate subnet for ip camera or NVR
    2. Block internet access for up camera or NVR
    3. For live view use VPN to connect with home network

    • Amanda

      Hi Przemek, thanks for your share! They are really useful tips.

  • Jens Schlueter

    Hi Amanda,

    Thank you for your checklist! Pretty useful.
    Could you explain how to use VPN connection for live viewing for
    an Argus 2? I can reach the cam via UID and app in my home network.
    But… it does not work via VPN.
    Is VPN only possible for true IP cams? Without p2p enabled?

    Regards

    • Amanda

      Hi Jens, the VPN connectivity for Reolink cameras haven’t been tested yet. But there are users who have successfully done it before and you may have a try with the video instruction here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmsIC_JEk7s

      • Jens Schlueter

        Hi Amanda,
        Thx for your quick answer!
        Maybe I was unclear about my problem: VPN is already in place.
        I’ve got access to other devices on my network. Via the Reolink app
        I’ve got access to the Argus 2. If I block the internet connection for the Argus 2 ( thus disabling p2p ) I can still use it from within my network.
        But no longer via VPN. Just want to secure access to my cam in the best possible way. P2P is quick and easy but a third party is involved, so it is pretty open to abuse by that party. 😉

        Regards

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