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Private home webcams streaming online for creeps and voyeurs

Private home webcams streaming online for creeps and voyeurs

Update: The Russian website that broadcasts thousands of private security camera feeds from around the world is still up and running. It currently has feeds from many countries, including 11,046 cameras in the U.S. Many of the cameras are for home or personal use. Reporters at the Daily Mail visited the site for several hours and saw sleeping babies, a boy playing on his computer, a boy sleeping in his bed, the inside of a changing room at a church, a woman in a rocking chair and two people eating in a kitchen.

The site owners have emphasized that they did not have hack into these cameras because they used default passwords to gain access. But, that doesn't mean they didn't break the law. Motherboard is reporting that Jay Leiderman, a U.S. lawyer with experience in these types of cases, said "It is a stunningly clear violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."

Internet-connected cameras are a wonderful tool that I recommend to all of my readers who want to beef up security in their homes. I use them throughout my home and even sell a few different styles in my store. But, your security dreams could easily turn into privacy nightmares if you don't set up your camera correctly. That's because without a strong password, your camera feed could end up on the Internet for anyone to see. That's the case with thousands of cameras around the world that are currently up on a Russian website.

The site includes feeds from all over the world. Users just have to click on a country to scroll through cameras monitoring businesses and homes.

The way the site accessed these cameras is frustratingly simple - and something I've warned you about before. Many cameras come with a default password from the manufacturer. Too often, people stick with this default password instead of creating a newer, stronger one.

These default login details usually can be found in security camera manuals that are often also available online. Because there are apparently thousands of users of cameras who did not change these login details, it was only a matter of time until one website aggregated these cameras for everyone else to tune into.

The website didn't even need to hack the cameras. All it did was search for cameras and try out default passwords until it found a match.

The website's owners claim they're not bad guys, but I don't buy it. They said they only created the site so more people would become aware of unsecured cameras in their homes. While I appreciate the sentiment, they didn't need to go to these lengths to get that message across. There's no need to expose anyone's private lives - including their children - to make that point.

If you have a camera, I have good news for you. The fix is simple. Just change your password. Click here to learn how to make a strong password that's tough to crack.

Each camera is different, so you're going to have to consult your owner's manual to find how to change your camera's login credentials.

It might sound like a hassle, but it's actually really easy and will ensure that your camera doesn't end up on a Russian website like insecam.com.

camera feed

This is a screenshot from one of the unsecured security cameras showing up on a Russian website.

I love my security cameras because I  can check on my home from my computer or gadgets when I'm at the office or on the go. I think installing cameras in your home or business is a smart choice, but you should always weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

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