It’s a story that would scare the life out of many parents – the security camera installed in your childs bedroom is being streamed online 24 hours a day so any random stranger can tune in. It’s real, and a good lesson for parents to stay safe.
The reports last week of a Texas Mother discovering that the IP surveillance camera she had installed in her twin daughters’ bedroom was being streamed online for all to see should be a warning to everyone with IP cameras.
You see, as with anything “IP” they are a connected part of a global network which in reality is all about every device being online all the time.
The problem is, you expect your cameras inside your home tom be private. They are, but by default they can also be very easy to access unless you take some basic steps.
These cameras were hacked – but not with any advanced techniques. They were simply accessed using the default settings that came with them from the factory.
Every network device needs a username and password to access it – it’s this password that every user should change to prevent any unauthorised access.
Starting with your modem/router – you should choose a new, unique and complex password for your WiFi network.
That’s the first step to preventing people getting into your network.
Secondly, you should change the default “administrator” password for your Router. Most routers at home are access via http://192.168.0.1 or http://10.0.0.1. Once you’re connected to the network, these pages are accessible. If the “admin” password hasn’t changed, any would be hacker can simply google the manual for your router to discover the password – which frankly is often “password”, “admin” or blank!
Change that, and things are getting tighter.
Finally, for your connected devices, like storage and IP cameras, change the default administrative passwords also. On any network, a basic IP camera app can search for cameras, and make viewing the video very easy – as long as you have the password. So, change that, and things are very secure.
These are simple steps, but we often just click “next” to every question on the setup process – this story is a reminder to pay attention, and change passwords wherever possible.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.