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Yes, internet-connected cameras are vulnerable to hacking

Experts say it’s up to you to keep your camera devices secure, and it’s a big responsibility.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you have any type of home surveillance camera on your Christmas list this year, you may want to make sure you know how to keep it secure.

To verify just how vulnerable your home technology is to hackers, 10TV’s Lindsey Mills takes the claim to a local expert.

THE CLAIM: 

In this viral Facebook post – a woman claims her home camera device used to watch her dog and even give him treats was hacked.

"I heard a man's voice, 'hey beautiful'" she wrote. "I was shaking in fear how did he hack through it?" 

Is this possible and how vulnerable are cameras in your home? 

THE SOURCES:

  • The FBI
  • C. Matthew Curtin of Interhack Corporation

THE ANSWER:

It’s true, it can happen. All internet-connected devices are vulnerable. 

What we found:

This isn’t new. Experts however say what’s happening is we are using more and more of these types of internet-connected devices and overall are taking less and less care in keeping them secure.

"This has been going on for easily 20 years,” Curtin said. “The fact of the matter is we have more and more of our lives being supported by things that are electronic and online."

According to the FBI – that applies more than just home cameras: "Digital assistants, smartwatches, fitness trackers….thermostats, refrigerators, and even light bulbs are all on the list."

The FBI urges consumers to build a "digital defense": Change your passwords from the default and make it as long as possible. That's not just for devices but your router, too.

If the device is connected to an app – make sure it's not running on default permissions you didn't approve.

Also – keep up with updates.

"You need to commit to managing it," Curtin said.

And, before you buy it ask yourself, do you really need it?

"Is it just more stuff that I have to deal with?" Curtin asked.

So you might think it can't happen to you but – it's true, any camera device connected to the internet is vulnerable to hacking.

"The number of cameras we have online is absolutely staggering,” Curtin said. "We are literally bugging ourselves and then we are surprised when something bad happens."

Have something you’d like us to verify? Send us an e-mail to verify@10TV.com.

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