I'm sure that, by now, you've seen the latest surveillance video of a hacker talking to a little girl, in her bedroom, through her Ring camera. I'm not even a parent and that sent shivers down my spine. I felt it was particularly disturbing when the hacker told the girl he's her best friend and played Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." I was shocked. That is a scene straight out of a horror movie.

In the past few years, when at-home security cameras started gaining popularity, I have been leery of them. I didn't want one outside of my home, because, honestly, I don't want to see the shenanigans that go on in the wee hours of the night. Like, do I really want to see if someone's loitering in my yard? No, thank you.

I was always weirded out to think about what is going on outside my home, but I never thought too much about what could happen inside of it. I mean, I keep my doors and windows locked, I keep to myself, and I've always managed to be safe. But how can we truly protect ourselves if the technology we're bringing into our homes can be used against us?

I Googled some tips to help you out:

  1. Use Brand-Name Systems - Yes, this hack was on a Ring camera, but the hack was not through their security system. It is still suggested to use a big name as they are held to higher scrutiny than a "no-name company."
  2. Use a Cloud-Based System - Tech companies that offer cloud-based storage systems can install software updates to fix potential security issues as soon as they're discovered.
  3. Make Passwords Complex - Make passwords long and complex, using a series of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.
  4. Use Dual Authentication - Having verifications sent to your email or phone means you can know if someone is trying to access your security device.
  5. Install Regular Updates - Every few months, you should look for updates that need to be installed on your system.

I hope these notes help you stay safe while using technology in your home.