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Can You Tell If Someone Is Watching You on Ring?

Last Updated Aug 12, 2021
ring stick up camera outside

It’s a spooky thought knowing that someone could be on the other end of a camera, watching your movements while cloaked in anonymity. It’s been two years since Ring went through the proverbial ringer (pun intended) with its lack of standard security protocols. But how do you know if someone is watching through your Ring? Is there any way to tell?

There isn’t any way to know if someone is watching you on a Ring camera—at least not through physical observation. However, it’s possible you could see the infrared light at night turn on if the camera is active—assuming the night vision is on and you’re at the correct angle to view it.

Ring employees were terminated from their positions in 2019 for watching their customers, and despite Ring’s denials, sensitive customer data was discovered leaked online. While it’s hard to know if someone is watching you through a Ring Camera, Ring has taken steps toward regaining its reputation and making its customers feel safe and secure in their own homes and from their security products. Read on to learn more about these protocols.

Security Features That Prevent Someone Watching You on Ring

Today, Ring smart cameras and home security devices often rank very well as secure products worth the purchase. Ring has done much to restore confidence in its cameras, devices, and app.

  • Two-Factor Authentication: It’s not enough to simply log into an app anymore. Anytime you log in to the Ring app from a device not specifically set up to be the default, remembered device, you’ll have to take an extra step via email or text to authenticate who you are.
  • Third-Party Services and Advertisers: Third-party “services” can no longer wreak havoc in the background as they run their analytics on everything about you, your habits, your mother’s habits, etc. Also, you can now opt-out of sharing personal information for advertising.
  • Login Notifications: A major part of Ring’s initial problems were derived from the fact that multiple users could be logged into a single account without the account owner even knowing about it. Ring ditched this little workaround in favor of notifying you for approval if a login is attempted from another device.
  • Default Encryption and Optional End-to-End Encryption: Ring now encrypts your saved footage by default, and you now have more options over who gets to look at your footage and whether or not it is encrypted as well.
  • Active Account Protection: Ring now actively engages in protecting your account from unauthorized logins.
  • Control Center: Ring added this feature as the hub of the Ring app, where you can control all of your privacy and security settings as well as view and control all of the devices on your account.

Ring has gone through a pretty respectable effort to reorganize its app, patch security vulnerabilities, and secure its customer’s accounts. Some of these features should have been there from the beginning, but at least Ring is trying to rectify the problem rather than playing the blame game.

How to Reduce Security Risks with Ring

When Ring appears in the news now, it most often has to do with poor personal security, weak or lost passwords, or sharing accounts with those who may be less frugal about security precautions.

There are several ways to minimize the potential for someone else to gain access to your account:

  • Don’t Reuse Old Passwords: Hackers find it far simpler to access your data when everything you own has the same password. Also, use complicated passwords with letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t write them down on paper and leave them lying around.
  • Add Shared Users That You Trust: Don’t just add your friends and family without carefully considering their habits and personalities.
  • Update Your Software: It’s easy to put it off until tomorrow, but if a firmware update is available, go ahead and update. Firmware updates often come with security patches against known threats.
  • Purchase a Firewall: You don’t have to be overly tech-savvy to do this. Plus, it’s just another added layer of security on top of Ring’s initiatives.

Often, security breaches happen because we get sloppy with our security. Make privacy and security your priority, and hackers have fewer options to sneak in.

Final Thoughts

Ring has done a lot to secure its products and infrastructure from hackers. While you still can’t tell if someone is on the other end of a Ring camera, there’s much you can do to meet Ring halfway.

Smart home security cameras are now too common a commodity to slack on security and privacy policy. While Ring has made its fair share of mistakes in protecting customer security, customers themselves have developed bad security habits.

Keep your passwords secure, keep your firmware updated, and be happy that Ring places customer security on a higher pedestal.