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How to Keep Hackers Out of Your Home Security System


Criminals of all types have user-friendly devices that make their jobs much easier. Stealing a car? A simple device can offer electronic access to the engine and it's off to the chop shop. Make no mistake, your home is no different -- hacking tech is cheap and readily available to everyone.

With the rise of wireless security, in fact, the cost of hacking dropped dramatically. A criminal can unlock your door remotely and wait for you come home … But why go to all that trouble when you can simply be watched through your security cameras? Obviously these types of scenarios are frightening, so what can you do to make your home security system more hacker-proof?


Wired systems are still vulnerable of course -- any burglar can pick up a pair of wire cutters -- but wireless systems give thieves and other unsavory characters several advantages. They can remotely watch you and your family from a house away, and disable your entire system if within ten feet. Some hackers don't want your material possessions, which is even scarier. Wired systems also make it easy to place security cameras wherever you want around your home, while wireless cameras rarely work at their published maximum distances.


Saving money on used home security equipment comes at the cost of being more vulnerable. Hackers can use implanted devices to more easily bypass home security systems. That said, used equipment is just older and less secure in general. For example, it could easily lack encryption -- many systems today still don't use encrypted data -- making it easy for hackers to succeed.


Security systems have to communicate, and they do this with vulnerable radio frequencies. Usually the data isn't encrypted because it's expensive and most home security customers aren't targets of hackers. But as we saw with chip cards, all it takes is one high profile incident to scare customers and inspire companies to invest in encryption. As for what you can do, invest more in your system. Jamming detection, tamper prevention and encryption should all be included in the contract with your security company.


Maybe you already have a security system, or the big solutions above aren't otherwise available to you. In that case, the simple fixes below will help you make your home security system more resilient to hackers.

  • Change Passwords Regularly: Keeping the passwords for your home security system and wifi router fresh is an easy way to keep amateur hackers out.
  • Monitor Camera Logs: Doing so will let you know if anyone has tried to access your security cameras.
  • Update Security Software: This is an easy part of maintenance to forget, but without it you lose all the security and performance updates from your provider.


Although most home security customers won't ever be the victims of hacking, many simply don't want to take the risk. The truth is, security companies like ADT have been brought to court over their claims of security following tests that easily gained access. A truly sophisticated hacker could enter your home easily. Homeowners should not get commercial grade security confused with the generally much lower security home systems. That said, every homeowner rightly expects a basic level of security -- just make sure you actually get it.t here.

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