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Ring Hacked? Here’s How You Can Protect Your Doorbell or Security Camera

Ring Hacked? Here’s How You Can Protect Your Doorbell or Security Camera
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IoT
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Apr 28, 2022
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ring-hacked-heres-how-you-can-protect-your-doorbell-or-security-camera
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Imagine someone ringing your doorbell constantly during the night, or worse, a cybercriminal getting complete access to your home Wi-Fi. Nothing’s worse than this. But how does a cybersecurity criminal hack into your Ring doorbell? Can you protect it from being hacked? Well, this is what the article is about.
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Post
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Buse Eker
Imagine someone ringing your doorbell constantly during the night, or worse, a cybercriminal getting complete access to your home Wi-Fi. Nothing’s worse than this. But how does a cybersecurity criminal hack into your Ring doorbell? Can you protect it from being hacked? Well, this is what the article is about.

What is a Ring Security System, and Why Do People Use It?

With such growing crimes, everyone needs better home security. Sure, you can always avoid it and pray that everything progresses smoothly but good home security will help in controlling what happens.
Also, it gives you the peace of mind that your house is completely secured and your loved ones are protected.
Ring Home Security is one of the most popular choices when it comes to home security systems. It comes with a bunch of products that can help in improving the security of your home. But they are nothing like the conventional home security systems since you don’t need professionals to install them. Also, since they are portable, you can move them from one place to the other. So, if you are changing houses, you can take them along with you.
The security products can be accessed through an app or keypad. It lets you access and control the data that is sent to the device. But every product is simple to use and comes with some essential features. As they are wireless and don’t have a tiring installation process, anyone out there can use them.
While there are many general benefits of maintaining your home security, here are some benefits that primarily focus on Ring.
1.     Smarter Home Integrations
Now, Ring is owned by Amazon. Hence, it will integrate well with Alexa. But what makes it more interesting is that you can also integrate it with Google Assistant and many other brands.
All these make it easier for you. Simply pop in the voice and command it to make it perform the actions on the Ring security products.
2.     Can be Combined with Other Ring Products
Another striking benefit of using Ring Home Security is you can easily match any of the products to enjoy complete home security and save money at the same time. For instance, you can connect the camera with the doorbell for optimum security.
3.     Easy to Install
It is one of the best benefits of using Ring security products. All products launched by Ring are easy to install. You don’t need any professionals to install them as they are totally DIY. Just follow the instructions given on the package.

How can a Ring Get Hacked?

There have been instances when Ring doorbell has been hacked by cybercriminals by getting access to the network it uses. Hacking is possible since data travels from your Wi-Fi to the Ring device, and the application you use isn’t encrypted.
Thus, anyone with little knowledge can hack into the Ring device to spy on you. At times, hackers get access to your network to steal your Wi-Fi password. Cybercriminals can use the network to trick you into letting in some stranger simply by showing the video of someone you know. According to Amazon, the problem had been attended to in the later version of the app.
Ring security cameras come with security issues, too. Hackers can get access to the camera and microphone and talk to your kid and get them to do things, while you are away.
Yes, Ring is responsible for most of these problems, but the users are also responsible for getting hacked. Often, we depend on the companies to protect our data and forget to be cautious.
There are two ways in which a Ring device can get hacked-
  • Weaker Passwords: If you are using weak passwords, it can be easier for the hackers to break in and get access to your network and security device. Ring devices with default and common passwords fall prey to the attacks. This is one of the common online scams used by hackers.
  • No Encryption: Data traveling between the device and the application might not be encrypted. This opens it up to hackers. A major security flaw might happen when you are setting up and configuring the device with the local Wi-Fi network.

Security Problems with the Ring Devices

Many Ring security device users have reported incidents of hackers getting into the device and taking complete control over it. Here are some security issues you might encounter if the Ring device gets hacked.
1.     Exploiting the Home Network
A hacked Ring device can give a hacker access to the whole network. For instance, if the doorbell gets hacked, all connected devices to the Wi-Fi network, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets can be put at risk.
2.     Credential Stuffing
Unauthorized users can collect usernames and passwords from data violations on various platforms and use the details to hack into other devices. This is known as credential hacking. It can also happen with Ring security devices. The threat is augmented, as many people use the same username and password for various accounts.
3.     Online Bots
Hackers use botnets to attack servers, websites, or organizations. Botnets are basically an army of bots. Ring security systems with weak security are the main target of these botnet hackings.
4.     Device Control
If a hacker gets control over a Ring security device, such as the doorbell, they can ring it all night long. This can be a nightmare. Not only is it annoying but also terrifying for elderly people using it.
However, the bigger issue is that the hackers can control the recording of the device to learn when the house is empty to formulate a plan to rob it.

How to Protect Your Ring Camera or Doorbell from Being Hacked?

The doorbell has already garnered lots of attention as it made it to the news on various occasions as people found out that the device was hackable. This can be a little concerning, and you have to be aware of what you can do to prevent it from happening.
Here are some ways you can prevent Ring security devices from being hacked.

1. Treat Your Username and Password Right

You should have a secure username and password for both the Ring account and the Wi-Fi network. The Ring had claimed previously that a hacker can gain access to the Ring account as the owner used the same password for various platforms. Hence, you need to ensure that you are using a unique username and password for your account.
The password should be a combination of upper-case, lower-case, special characters, and numbers. Use phrases instead of a single word as this will make the password extra strong. You can use a password generator to come up with a unique password. Make sure that you change the password frequently to avoid a brute force attack. If you use separate passwords for different accounts, even if the Ring device gets hacked, the issue is isolated and will not affect other accounts.

2. Use Two-Step Verification

After several cases of Ring accounts being hacked, Amazon has made two-factor authentication mandatory. This adds an additional layer of protection. It makes sure that if your password gets compromised, your account details aren’t shared.
However, the Ring two-factor authentication isn’t enabled by default. You have to enable it directly from the Ring app. With two-factor authentication, you will need both your password and confirmation on some other device, such as an OTP sent to your mobile number. This will prevent the hackers from getting access by stealing the password.
In the case of Ring devices, whenever you log into the Ring account, an OTP is sent to your email address. Thereafter, you have to enter the 6-digit key for logging into the device successfully. But you have to enter the code within 10 minutes. Following that it is going to expire.

3. Avoid Sharing Your Login Details

At times, others might need access to the Ring equipment you have. You need to be prudent while allowing this as you have to avoid sharing your login details. You can simply add them as the shared user on the account. It will give a person, such as your roommate, access to check out videos and save them. However, they will not have the login details of the master’s account.
If you give someone access, just open the app and select the device, Thereafter, go to Settings and tap on the option Shared User and then Add User. Enter the email address of the person who would like to add as the shared user. Select the devices you would like to share with a new user and tap Send Invite. The person has to accept the invite to complete the process. Now, they can access the device using their own app and login details. But they should also use two-factor authentication and stronger passwords.

4. Check If Your Password Had Been Stolen in the Previous Data Breaches

Often hackers use the technique called credential stuffing. They get a list of stolen usernames and passwords and try them on various accounts. Hackers are now developing software for automating this process, especially to hack Ring cameras. Hence, you should check if your device has been hacked in the past. There are websites that will let you comb through the logs of data breaches and check if your email address or password had been stolen. In case it was, you should change it immediately.

5. Keep Firmware Updated

Ring equipment is designed to get firmware updates, automatically. It helps in fixing the bugs when they arise to improve the security of the device. When you keep it up to date, it makes sure that the device functions as it should and doesn’t get hacked, easily.
Firmware is built into any device with the aim to keep it functioning properly. If a device is functioning at its best, you will get the most efficient results. Even if the device updates itself automatically, you should look up the device instructions and run an update, manually, once in a while.

6. Delete Old Security Footage

When you are using the Ring security camera, you should know that it will store the security footage for up to 60-days with the subscription plan. Make sure that you delete recent activity from the application to keep away hackers from using the old footage. If more footage is available, hackers will have more details to access. This can pose a security threat.
Furthermore, if you come across some unfamiliar footage, it’s a good indication that the Ring equipment has been compromised.
Deleting the footage is a simple process. For instance, when it comes to the Ring doorbell, you can remove the old footage just by visiting the phone app, choosing the events you would like to delete, and tapping on the trash icon. If you don’t know how to go about it, take the help of the instruction manual.

7. Don’t Share Videos on Social Networking Platforms

You might be tempted to share your camera video footage with your followers on social networking platforms. Or you may want to warn your neighbors about any suspicious happenings in the neighborhood. But you should resist this temptation and avoid leaving a digital footprint.
When you share the videos captured by the security camera, you are giving the hackers a way to hack into the system.

8. Use a Virtual Private Network

By installing a VPN, you can access the security camera system securely. With a VPN, you can directly connect to the home network, regardless of your location. But make sure that the VPN you are using is secured and no one other than you has access. Once you install the VPN connection to your home, you know your security camera is well-secured.
But you have to install the VPN on the Wi-Fi router. It will hide the IP address and will encrypt what the device sends and receives.
But you should keep in mind that not all VPNs are the same. Also, routers come with different VPN capabilities when it comes to the setup. Based on how many cameras you would like to stream; you will require a router that has a strong processor to host the VPN. You will need a strong internet connection, too, to host the VPN. Check the router’s specification sheet to learn about the VPN features.

Final Thoughts

The Ring security cameras have been installed by many homeowners. It gives you peace of mind when you are on vacation or at work. The doorbell camera comes with many features. It can capture video motion and lets you check video footage of a person standing at the door. In fact, it also allows you to speak to them through the microphone. But there have been many instances of Ring security cameras being hacked. If you follow the simple guidelines we have provided, you can prevent it from getting hacked. Use a VPN to keep the equipment and the network protected.
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