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Local expert explains why your password matters when setting up porch camera

Posted at 12:36 PM, Jan 06, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — One of the most popular gifts this past holiday season are those little cameras that allow you to keep watch over packages and to ward off porch pirates.

It turns out those gadgets can also be used by other thieves: hackers!

Reports have been coming in from all over the country, involving someone's device being hacked. People can gain access and use the cameras to spy on you and even harass your family.

Blake Schwank, president of Colorado Computer Support, says the most typical way hackers get access is from people using weak passwords.

"You want to make sure your password is unique," Schwank said. "Never use dates, birthdays or anything that's significant to you."

The most popular smart door camera manufacturers are "Ring" and "Nest Doorbell."

Schwank says it doesn't matter how cheap or expensive your device is, hackers can still gain access if you don't have a strong password.

Let's face it, it's hard to keep track of so many different passwords. Schwank suggests using password generators on Google Chrome or apps like "1Password" or "Lastpassword" to keep tabs.

"It's not unique to cameras. It's every system that you have out there, whether it's Amazon or your bank account," Schwank said.

Another tip to consider: never point the camera where you, your family or your belongings are visible.

If your camera comes with multi-factor authentication, make sure it's enabled. This feature installs an extra layer of security by requiring the user to provide a specific code sent through email or text, along with the user's password.