UK: New advice to protect against smart camera snoopers

A hacker at their computer

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has issued new guidance for smart cameras. It said that guessable passwords set by the manufacturer can lead to unauthorised users gaining access to devices. Often, these devices are used as monitors and placed in children’s bedrooms so keeping them secure is important.

The NCSC recommends three measures to make hacking much more difficult for cybercriminals. First, users should ensure they have changed their default password. It recommends that you connect three random words that you’ll easily remember. You can usually change the password using the app you use to manage the device.

The second piece of advice is to apply any available software and firmware updates, if there’s an option to install updates automatically, it recommends enabling this setting. Such updates fix newly discovered bugs on devices and sometimes introduce new features.

The third tip is that you disable the ability to remotely view the camera footage via the internet if you do not need the feature. This will cut off any outside source that wants to attack the device but the NCSC does warn that this may prevent you from receiving alerts when movement is detected and could stop the camera from working with smart home devices such as Alexa, Google Home, or Siri.

If you know how to manage your router, the NCSC advises that you also disable UPnP. It said UPnP and port forwarding are exploitable by cybercriminals and should, therefore, be disabled if you don’t need them.

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