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Security & privacy

Crooks are jamming security cameras — Protect yours now!

Security cameras work in two ways. First, they act as a deterrent to thieves. If that doesn’t work, it captures them in the act of stealing your things or breaking into your home.

Your surveillance system is only as good as what your cameras can see. Placement is critical — you don’t want a tree blocking the view of your backyard. You also don’t want cameras to send a notification whenever a squirrel runs across the lawn. Tap or click here for four mistakes you’re making with your home security system.

Many popular security camera systems rely on Wi-Fi. It’s convenient and easier to get these cameras up and running. But this isn’t as secure as you might expect. Crooks can jam the Wi-Fi signal, rendering the cameras blind. Here’s what you can do to prevent this from happening to you.

A cheap and scary hack

So you set up your cameras in optimal locations and configure the settings for the best coverage. You feel safe and secure. But you might literally miss the big picture if your cameras are connected to your Wi-Fi network.

WXYZ reported on a woman in Detroit whose car was stolen right in front of her house, and guess what? When she reviewed her Ring camera recordings, she found that hours of footage were missing.

It turns out that crooks used a signal jammer to disrupt her Wi-Fi and stop her cameras from recording. While jamming devices can be pricey, a deauther costs $15 at most and is small enough to fit in your pocket. It works by overwhelming the Wi-Fi system when held close to a camera.

Ring is apparently aware of the issue and says it’s a rare occurrence. There’s no word on a fix at this time.

RELATED: Do this, or anyone can see what your security camera sees

How to protect yourself

Wi-Fi cameras are easy to install, but is it worth the security compromise? Even without criminal interference, other factors can affect the signal between your camera and Wi-Fi router.

A hardwired camera system is more reliable and secure. They are connected directly to your internet via an ethernet cable, which makes them more challenging to hack. You also don’t have to worry about spotty or weak Wi-Fi signals affecting your cameras’ performance. You’ll get clearer audio and video thanks to a consistent internet connection.

Here are some more tips to secure your home security system:

  • Always use 2FA  Use two-factor authentication for better security. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
  • Good password practices — Use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and devices. Tap or click here for password tips that will keep you secure.
  • Keep your system up to date Just as you do with your browser and smart devices, updating your security cameras reduces their chances of being hacked. Keep up to date via your camera app.
  • Disable remote access — It’s not worth leaving it on if you need a tech to look through it. You’ll find this setting under Remote Administration in most cases.
  • Use SimpliSafe to secure your home – Our sponsor, SimpliSafe, is an award-winning home security system, so you know it’s engineered with the latest technology to keep your family safe. Highly trained security experts are there 24/7 when you need them most. For a limited time, get a free security camera, 20% off + a free month of monitoring.

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