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Dozens of security cameras exposed by hacker app

If you have a surveillance camera in or outside your home and you’re able to check the video remotely, you probably think your home is extra safe.

That’s what a Toronto family thought until CityNews revealed their home security camera had been hacked and live streamed online for all to see. It’s all thanks to an app which live streams hundreds of thousands of videos from around the world, all taken from security cameras.

We have chosen not to name the app, so as not to promote its content. The family who was contacted about the breach of privacy also chose not to speak out at this time.

The same app is also raising alarms in the U.S., where a mother was devastated to learn that private security video of her eight-year-old twin girls’ bedroom was shared online.

“There is no security whatsoever,” says Stan Diatchkov, general manager of security company Alarm Dealer, adding peoples’ security systems are a lot more vulnerable to online voyeurism than we may think.

“It’s pretty easy [to hack into security systems].”

Here are a couple of ways you can protect yourself and your security system from being hacked:

1. Change your default password – Security systems come with the same or similar default passwords, which make it very easy for people or robots to hack into them.

2. Don’t get a system that can be accessed remotely – It may feel convenient to be able to view your security footage on your phone or online. However, the most secure way is just to have your system connected to a monitor at your home. That’s because there are two types of cameras. One is called IP cameras. You can plug an internet cable into them and that gives the camera an IP address. Once it has an IP address and you can access it remotely, it can be easily hacked. Another type is a camera that is connected to a digital video recorder (DVR). In that case, the camera does not have an IP address. Instead, the DVR has an IP address and that makes it a lot harder for people to hack into the security footage.