Amazon’s Ring Smart Doorbells and access control have been under scrutiny over the past couple of months because of lapses in security. Most customers have nothing to worry about thanks to several factors, including the scarcity of people with the expertise to be able to bypass the security settings which are in place if customers follow the installation instructions carefully.
However, if you buy a Ring doorbell and don’t update and personalise the security features it’s not very difficult for anyone with a mobile phone to be able to breech your home security systems. As Smart devices, including home security and monitoring become ever more popular it’s natural that the number of devices which are installed poorly or not personalised at all is going to increase. Such an increase makes it possible for the wannabee hacker to travel around looking for systems worth infiltrating and exploiting.
Controlling Who Can Go Where
You can give access to your Ring account to a number of different people who will them be able to talk to visitors, let people in, and watch in real time as people move about from their phones or tablets. It makes more sense to add users from an admin than give log in details to others, so for example if you have friends or family come to stay, or you want to give people staying at your house via AirBnB access, you can add them or remove them without having to pass on any log-in details.
This is true for any phones or computers which get lost or stolen. As soon as you know a device is missing you can immediately disable its Ring access from your admin account meaning that it can no longer be used to gain access to your property.
Because data is money these days Ring made it possible to send your data to third parties in order them to direct targeted advertising at you via social media. However, a lot of people had a lot of quite reasonable concerns when it came to sharing information about your home security along with your location to companies who you had no connection with. That data sharing process is currently on hold until Ring are able to find a way for users to disable sharing via an on-device interface. (Of course it’s quite reasonable to expect that nobody would willingly share this kind of data just to receive advertising messages, and if they’re confident people would want to then it should be an opt in, rather than an opt out.)
Requiring Two Factor Authentication for any changes
We recently covered the story of a young girl who was harassed in her own bedroom by a hacker. Her mother recognised that she hadn’t set up the security as per the instructions, but was naturally still upset that someone had invaded the family’s privacy in order to play some kind of prank on the child.
Ring now requires two factor authentication, meaning that it is absolutely necessary to prove your authenticity before being able to access your account. No longer will people be able to slip past any authentication process by simply using the factory settings the device shipped with.
Password Protection & Security
We always point out that any duplicated password is going to be far weaker than a unique, complex password. If you use the same password for your pizza delivery account as you do for your home security you’ve no way of knowing what security measures the pizza delivery firm has in place, who your kids are allowing to know the password when they’re having a party and want to order in, and you probably don’t care if it’s written down somewhere, either on a piece of paper or a note on your desktop. Problem is, if you’re unfortunate enough to have your data breached it is passwords that you’re known to use which are going to be tried first.
The best thing to do to create and manage long, impossible to guess passwords is to use a password manager. These themselves require a user name and password which you will have to remember, but they require two stage authentication and are thoroughly encrypted.
Controlling Your Alerts Via Home Security Devices
When you install your Ring access control devices you’ll probably find it necessary to manage what sets the cameras rolling. For example, if your camera is positioned so that it takes in part of the street, a tree, or neighbour’s property you will no doubt want to ignore and certainly won’t want to record. Setting these privacy zones means that you won’t get an alert for every passer-by, traffic, or wind moving the leaves, but you will be able to see these areas when the camera’s motion detection is triggered by someone moving from a privacy zone into an active zone.
People who want Ring Smart home security and access control but are unsure what installation entails should call Briant Communications. We’re specialist Smart Home Solution installers, and, as such we can offer help and advice regarding your needs and the best product ranges to suit them. Call us on 01273 465377 or email us at enquiries@Briantcomms.com