Security cameras are double-edged swords. As with any piece of technology, they are amoral, meaning that they don’t differentiate between good and evil. You may have purchased an indoor surveillance camera to keep an eye on your belongings but if a hacker takes control over it, this same camera will then become a device for spying on you.
Unfortunately, many homeowners blissfully overlook the gaping holes in their privacy that come from their own security products. Companies aren’t doing their best either, as they often use outdated safety measures. On the bright side, new innovations are popping up on the horizon all the time, with devices that help you better protect your privacy.
IoT Working Against You
The Internet of Things seems to be the latest bandwagon that every manufacturer tries to jump onto, and without considering the potential dangers. Internet-enabled cameras and alarms are just the beginning, though, as smart fridges, washing machines and even toilets are being tested for sale. But are the companies behind these products prepared to handle our precious information, too?
Just think about it: a smart fridge that keeps tab on your shopping list is a treasure mine for third party companies and targeted advertising. The same could be said about home security cameras, where unscrupulous monitoring agents might take a peek into your living room through the camera lens to collect data about your TV and other electronics.
Bear in mind that such an idea is not that farfetched: when the Xbox One games console was announced in 2013, people were shocked to learn that the company planned to release it with Kinect, an always online camera that would always scan the room every 24 hours. And these are just the examples of so-called ‘legal’ spying; hackers are another problem entirely, and can easily exploit poor online security to gain control over the cameras or even to disable the alarm system.
The Protection You Can Expect From Companies
‘But isn’t it the company’s responsibility to protect my privacy?’ consumers might rightfully ask. The truth is that companies, whether they are security related or not, are very careless with our private details. Do you remember the Equifax fiasco? Or the hacking of Ashley Madison? They all happened because hackers managed to exploit weak points in the system.
Home security companies are not much better either. An experiment that was conducted a few years ago pointed out that the technology that cellular alarm systems used for transmitting radio signals had barely been updated since the mid-90s. Even worse, the signals can be easily hijacked and compromised by hackers that own a software-defined radio, which can be legally purchased for only $1,700.
Better Alternatives for Self-Monitoring
Because companies refuse to disclose the level of protection they are offering their customers, it’s no wonder people would rather choose alternatives where they are in full control of their private data. The security camera market is currently seeing a big boom of successfully crowdfunded products that offers such convenience and peace of mind.
Take Minut as an example. The name refers to the amount of time the installation requires, while the circular detector acts as an all-in-one motion, fire, noise and temperature sensor. Or there is Angee, the wireless camera capable of 360 degree rotation. Even the infamous Edward Snowden has come up with an app that turns your Android phone into a motion-sensitive surveillance camera.
The moral of the story is that professional security monitoring and self-monitoring is like dining out versus cooking at home, the latter is less convenient and you need some knowledge on the matter, but at least you are in complete charge of the process – and ultimately the end results.
Best Home Security Systems of 2018
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