What to Look for When Buying a Security Camera (2023): Tips and Risks

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Unfortunately, it took more than two months for Eufy’s parent company, Anker, to acknowledge some guilt and apology. Early denials drew more media attention as the company attempted to downplay Eufy’s security flaws while damaging its hard-won reputation. Multiple incidents and the fact that Yufi was caught lying and forced to back down make it difficult to restore trust.

Eufy’s shortcomings seem especially egregious because the company tends to tick all the right boxes. Its cameras and doorbells strike a balance between quality and affordability. Anker is a respected accessory brand. And Eufy offers support for two-factor authentication, though not by default, and promises completely local storage and on-device processing for features like facial recognition.

Understanding the risks when shopping

Despite the abundance of security camera manufacturers, a spotless reputation is rare, so how do you make the right choice? “You want to use a trademark,” says Deral Heiland, principal investigator for Internet of Things security at Rapid7. “The one you’ve heard of because these companies have to protect their brand.”

Large brands are subject to more scrutiny. They are a target for security researchers and hobbyists. And they know that bad press will hurt their business. Since regulation is negligible, many unnamed or obscure brands sell untested security cameras that may contain many vulnerabilities. When they have problems, they disappear or change the brand name.

According to Heiland, two-factor authentication (2FA) is also vital. This prevents anyone who manages to get your login details from accessing your camera. With 2FA, you need login details and a fingerprint, face scan, or an automatically generated one-time code from an authenticator app, text message, or email. WIRED doesn’t recommend any security cameras that don’t at least offer two-factor authentication as an option, but we’d love to see it become the industry standard.

When you’re installing a security camera, it’s worth considering whether the camera is most compromising or embarrassing – outside or inside your home. You must understand that no device connected to the Internet is 100% secure.

There is always a risk of someone gaining access to the camera – “whether it’s hackers pasting cracked passwords to see if people are re-using them, or the police frequenting companies, even without warrants, hoping to get footage of cameras.” device people without them knowing,” says Matthew Guarilla, a political analyst Electronic Frontier Foundation.

After every security camera scandal, you can see some people claiming they don’t care who sees footage of their front door or backyard. It is true that many of these video streams have little value, making them an unlikely target. But Guarilla says security cameras usually have powerful microphones and often pick up more than we think.

In addition, there is the issue of the privacy of other people, whether they are neighbors, window cleaners or passers-by. CCTV footage is often posted online without the knowledge of the people in it. Most cameras offer privacy zones so you can limit recordings to your property and you should consider placement carefully when installing cameras.

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