Most Americans have multiple smart gadgets in their homes. These tech toys make it easy to automate day to day tasks — which often make them worth the investment.
But while smart gadgets can make it simple to automate your lights, vacuuming or other chores, they can also leave you open to privacy and security issues. If your smart device includes a camera, hackers could even use these vulnerabilities to spy on you.
Video doorbells are one of the smart devices that come with potential security issues. Five popular video doorbells failed security tests in recent months, leaving users open to unforeseen issues. To help cut down on the security risks, one popular smart tech company has rolled out a new feature for its line of video doorbells.
Ring video doorbells get security boost
If you’ve got a Ring video doorbell, a new feature is rolling out that will help secure them from possible hacking. Ring just started offering end-to-end encryption for its hardwired and plug-in Ring security cameras and video doorbells. With this feature’s addition, only your smartphone or tablet can be used to see footage recorded by your camera.
End-to-end encryption is important because, before its rollout, there were potential weak spots that allowed clever hackers to access the video footage from your camera. This allowed them to spy on your home from afar.
With the new encryption, though, nobody will be able to access your video footage unless they also get access to your mobile device. And that’s not the only perk. Not only will hackers be locked out, but so will Ring and its parent company, Amazon — neither will be able to access your footage.
Ring is one of the first smart doorbells to offer end-to-end encryption. This type of encryption is generally reserved for things like messaging apps, email services or other secure communication methods — not video doorbells.
It makes sense that Ring would add this feature, though. The smart tech company has recently dealt with plenty of privacy and security issues, including software vulnerabilities in its products and issues with hacked user accounts. Thousands of Ring camera passwords were also leaked online – and owners must change this setting now.
Ring has desperately needed to shore up its vulnerabilities to protect users, and this will help do it.
How to enable end-to-end encryption on your Ring video doorbell
While this new feature is certainly welcome, it’s also limited in its uses. As mentioned, the end-to-end encryption will only work with the hardwired and plug-in Ring devices. It won’t work with Ring’s battery-powered video doorbells, including the Ring Video Doorbell 3 or the 3 Plus.
Compatible devices currently include the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, Video Doorbell Elite, Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam Wired, Spotlight Cam Mount, Stick Up Cam Plug-In, Stick Up Cam Elite and Indoor Cam. There is no word on whether or not it will roll out for battery-operated Ring cameras in the future.
Another potential downside to this feature is that enabling it will disable other Ring features. They include:
- Shared user accounts
- Ring apps for Mac and Windows
- Rapid Ring app for Android and iOS
- Voice control via Amazon Alexa
- Event timelines
- Ring app dashboard camera previews
- Video sharing capabilities
If you can live without those features, it’s simple to enable end-to-end encryption for your compatible Ring doorbell.
To enable the end-to-end encryption feature:
- Open the Ring app on your mobile device
- Navigate to the Control Center
- Click Video Encryption > Advanced Settings to enable the encryption
If you decide end-to-end encryption isn’t worth the hassle, you can disable it in the Control Center of your Ring app.