How Secure Are Ring Cameras?
The unfortunate truth is that home security breaches are on the rise, and smart security cameras, like those offered by Ring, may not be safe. While the chances of your Ring camera getting hacked are becoming slimmer due to increased security protocols being put in place, you, as the user, have a role to play to ensure your devices stay safe.
The Ring camera, like any other device connected to the internet, is susceptible to hacking. However, with a myriad of privacy and security breaches in recent months, Ring cameras may not be considered entirely secure compared to other devices, especially when it comes to privacy.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the Ring camera’s security, how to detect hacking activities, and how to protect your cameras from future cyber-attacks.
Can Ring Cameras Be Hacked?
As mentioned, Ring cameras can be susceptible to hacking, just like any other smart device you own. Recently, there has been an uproar on social media by Ring users over the increasing number of Ring security camera cyber-attacks. In fact, the Electronic Privacy Information Center revealed that the Ring camera device is not safe from hacking and one of the easiest to hack due to its security lapses.
The report goes further to reveal that Ring cameras are known to expose sensitive personal information like device location, Wi-Fi passwords, and access to video footage without the owner’s permission. According to the press release by Ring, the hacking method used by hackers to access its cameras is referred to as credential stuffing.
Credential stuffing is a hacking method that involves the automated use of compromised users’ credentials to breach a security system. Due to the increase of Ring camera hacking, Ring requested that users set up two-factor authentication or use a unique password for each of their Ring devices.
Can Hired Monitors for Ring Spy on You?
Since the Ring mobile app requires the integration of third-party trackers, then it is safe to say that the monitors for Ring are most likely spying on users. In 2019, the security website, The Intercept, revealed that workers at Ring had “highly privileged access” to the live video feeds of users. In fact, in January 2020, Ring fired four workers for spying on its customers.
Also, its users over the last few years have drawn the attention of the US Government to the security gaps in the Ring policies. In November 2019, Senator Ed Markey drew the attention of the US congress to the fact that there was no security requirement on law enforcement access to customer data and no policy restricting them from sharing users’ data with third-party agencies.
While Ring has come out to deny these allegations, multiple users have gone on to sue the company claiming privacy breaches and unlawful access to their video feeds and data. Notwithstanding, you should still adopt security measures to protect your Ring camera from hackers and spies.
How to Know Your Ring Has Been Hacked
In recent times, the number of security camera cyber-attacks has increased, coupled with stories of Ring users becoming a victim of a security breach. Hearing these terrifying stories or the thought of a stranger watching your home without your knowledge is enough to scare even the strongest of us all.
However, there are some signs you can look out for if you have installed a Ring camera inside or outside your home. Knowing these tells will help you react quickly to keep your device and home protected from cyber-attackers.
Hearing Strange Noises or Unfamiliar Voices
Most victims of a security camera hack or breach complained about hearing strange voices or noises over their camera’s two-way communication channel. Since Ring camera features a two-way communication function, you will certainly know something is amiss when you start hearing unfamiliar voices or speech.
The LED Light is Blinking Constantly or Turned On
The Ring camera features a LED light that signals to users that the camera is being accessed remotely. So, once you notice that your Ring indoor camera is constantly blinking or turned on without any remote activity from you, you should consider reaching out to Ring for support.
The Security Camera Rotates Abnormally
If you notice that your Ring camera rotates in one direction or tries to follow your movement, your security camera has probably been hacked. Your Ring camera tilting in the wrong direction or abnormally signals that someone else is in control of your camera pan-tilt function.
Security Setting Was Altered
A simple way to confirm if your Ring camera is being/has been hacked is by checking your Ring security settings. You can check your camera’s settings in the Ring app to detect any changes. Sometimes, these hackers go as far as changing the display picture and name of your account.
A Sudden Increase in Data Traffic and Consumption
Like most smart security cameras, Ring cameras need a stable internet connection to stream live video and updates to the cloud. If your security camera is connected to your Wi-Fi router, you can check your advanced router tracking to find the amount of data incoming and outgoing from each of your installed cameras.
If you notice a sudden spike in data traffic during a certain time of day, your Ring camera may be experiencing a security breach.
Unfamiliar Login History from Strange Locations
The Ring app allows you to access your login history or attempts made to log in on your device’s account. You can also request that Ring send you a detailed list of all the logins or locations where your account was accessed. If you notice any strange locations, then it is time you request for help from Ring.
What If My Ring Has Been Hacked?
While installing a Ring security camera allows you to monitor and protect your home from intruders, it may expose you to a whole new level of cyber risk if not adequately protected. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, make sure you do the following:
- Log out of your device’s account
- Turn off all your indoor or outdoor cameras
- Reach out to Ring for support
- Change the login details associated with your account
- Take security measures to protect your home
How to Avoid Hacking
Ring offers some of the best smart cameras on the market, but over the last few years, it has been in the center of one of the most talked-about security and privacy breaches around the world. While the company is working to restore its glory and beef up its camera security infrastructure, you should learn how to use the Ring camera safely to avoid falling victim to hacking.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use of two-factor authentication. Recently, Ring has requested the mandatory use of 2FA Authentication by users on all Ring devices.
- Use a strong and unique password combination on your Ring device. Do not use your Ring password details on any other website to prevent credential stuffing.
- Allow multiple users to access your Ring device on their phone instead of sharing your device login information.
- Opt-out of third-party data distribution. Check the privacy settings on your Ring app to opt-out. Opting out will prevent Ring from sharing your information with third-party websites.
- Regularly update your Ring camera firmware and app to be on top of the latest security fixes.
While home security companies like Ring are doing all they can to mitigate the risk of hacking, users are expected to play their part in keeping their devices safe.
If you are concerned about the security and privacy of your home as a Ring camera user, you should consider updating your passwords regularly, limiting direct access, and setting up a two-factor authentication feature. By adhering to these tips, you are sure to increase your chances of avoiding a hack or security breach.
To learn more about whether other smart security devices can be hacked, like Night Owl, check out this article.