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Website targets insecure webcams

Burnetts' Information Law solicitor Natalie Ruane highlights a case concerning insecure webcams.

During November, a website, based in Russia, exposed the danger of using weak passwords for insecure webcams.  The new website allows people to watch live footage from some of the insecure webcams across the world.  The information is accessed by using the default login credentials which are freely available online for thousands of cameras.

The footage was collected from all types of online cameras ranging from security cameras used by businesses to CCTV networks to built-in cameras on baby monitors. Over 350,000 of these cameras are sold in the UK. So how can you ensure that people aren’t able to access the information being filmed by your device?

1. Change your default password and make this a strong password. 
Do not choose one that can be easily guessed.  Use a password that contains a mixture of upper and lower case numbers, letters and characters.

2. Check all the available security settings. 
Use the instructions that come with the camera to ensure you know how to keep the footage you are capturing secure.  It is essential to take time to read any manual and familiarise yourself with the security options available.  Whilst accessing footage remotely can be the biggest selling point for a webcam, it is also its biggest security weakness. If you do not wish to view the footage remotely over the internet, switch this viewing option off to avoid hacking.

3. Secure all of your other devices that use an internet connection.

About the author

Natalie Ruane profile photo

Natalie Ruane

Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.

Published: Friday 30th January 2015
Categorised: Information Law

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