What Are the Privacy Concerns of Home Security Systems?

Cameras can be a very useful part of a home security system quotes system. However, most work over Wi-Fi, which makes them more vulnerable to hacking. Many other devices you might want to connect to your system also use Wi-Fi. “Two of the most vulnerable elements in a security system are network or internet-connected security cameras and the Wi-Fi router itself, as they are most often the target of hackers,” Rothman says.

Note that it’s not the hardware that gets hacked, but rather the software, which then provides the hacker with access to the whole network. This is where the homeowner needs to be security-savvy. “The most important step is changing the default security settings on the equipment itself, including admin login information that is often publicly available and leveraged by hackers,” Rothman says.

Your personal data also present a privacy issue. Your home security system knows when you’re home and when you’re away. It also knows your regular routines and patterns of movement inside your house. If you connect home automation devices, the system will know even more about you. All of these data are valuable to burglars, assuming they know how to access them.

The data are also valuable to companies that want to sell you goods and services. “If the price is really low on a piece of hardware, it’s often a case of giving you a low price in return for taking your data,” says Mitch Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, who has three decades of experience in custom installation and integration of home automation and security systems. When choosing to place any connected device in your home, from a camera to a door lock to a complete security system, be sure to read the data privacy section of the company’s Terms of Use to see how your data are being collected and used.

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