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Be Smart with Smart Doorbells

January 19th, 2021

Online shopping is a choice many of us turn to for necessities and gifts alike. This is especially true in the age of COVID-19.

With online shopping we must consider whether be home to accept the packages or hope that those shipments are waiting for us at our door. One way to address this challenge is to purchase a doorbell equipped with a camera which allows you to see who is at the door, using a handy mobile app.

“Smart doorbells” are a handy way to track who has been to your door and, in some cases, provide an extra level of security against thieves and evidence of shipping confirmations. However, along with these benefits there is a downside. As with any device that connects you to the Internet there are vulnerabilities you should take into consideration and protect yourself against.

When looking for a deal on a smart doorbell, follow these steps to protect yourself against cyber-attacks:

  • Stick to name brands: The Internet-of-Things (IoT) industry is poorly regulated. What this means to you is that devices with the lowest prices quite possibly have the highest risk. The NCC Group and Which? research found that at least one smart doorbell sends your Wi-Fi name and password insecurely to servers in China. Others store the recordings unencrypted.
  • Change the default password: When you purchase and install a new smart device they may not prompt you to change your password, but since these devices have access to your internal network — and therefore to your other personal devices — you should change the password to a strong, unique password only used for this device.
  • Check the reviews: Focus on the negative reviews for these devices. This may sound odd, but fake (positive) reviews may be posted to direct people to purchase insecure devices.
  • Keep the device up-to-date: The software updates for these devices are often security updates to maintain or increase the security of your information.
  • Set up 2-factor authentication: If 2-factor authentication is an option for accessing your smart doorbell and data, make sure to enable it — this adds an extra layer of security which makes it more difficult for hackers to access.

Do your part. #BeCyberSmart

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