photo of a hacker in dark room using a laptop

How to prevent your CCTV cameras from getting hacked

UPDATED: 28/09/2023

Security cameras are meant to secure your property. But how do you secure the cameras themselves from hackers or unauthorised access? CCTV cameras are useless if they are compromised, so you should take the following precautions and measures to stay on top of camera security.

Most of these deal with software and network connection, as modern network cameras rely on the internet to function.

Change default usernames and passwords

illustration of changing default passwords on cctv system

When it comes to safeguarding your security cameras and ensuring their integrity, one fundamental step stands out – changing default usernames and passwords. Here’s why it’s crucial and how to go about it:

Ditching the Defaults:

  • Security cameras, like many network devices, often come with default usernames and passwords straight out of the box.
  • These defaults are widely known and easily accessible to potential intruders, making your cameras vulnerable to unauthorized access.
  • It’s imperative to replace these defaults as soon as possible with something unique, ensuring that they aren’t easily guessable or documented in obvious places.

The Power of Uniqueness:

  • Opting for a unique username and a strong, original password adds a significant layer of security to your cameras.
  • Common and easily guessable combinations like “admin” and “password123” are a welcome mat for hackers. By choosing something distinctive, you reduce the risk of intrusion.
  • Remember, the goal is to bolster your login security and minimize the chances of unauthorized individuals gaining access to your security camera system.

By promptly changing default usernames and passwords to something unique, you establish a solid foundation for your security camera system’s protection. This simple yet crucial step significantly enhances your system’s resistance to unauthorized access and helps ensure that your cameras are not an easy target for potential hackers.

Keep camera firmware/software updated

illustration of cctv firmware being updated on a security camera

In the realm of computer security, a relentless battle unfolds between those seeking to breach systems and those striving to safeguard them. To maintain a robust defense for your security cameras, it’s imperative to keep your camera firmware and controller software up-to-date. Here’s why and how you should go about it:

The Hacker’s Persistence:

  • Over time, hackers relentlessly probe for security weaknesses, tirelessly searching for security loopholes or vulnerabilities within your system.
  • Once a vulnerability is identified, your system may become exposed, rendering it susceptible to unauthorized access or intrusion.
  • This ongoing cat-and-mouse game underscores the paramount importance of regular updates.

The Shield of Updates:

  • To counteract these evolving threats, manufacturers consistently release updates to camera firmware and controller software. These updates serve as security patches, sealing any potential security gaps.
  • Whenever a new version of firmware or software becomes available, it is imperative to act swiftly and install the updates. Delaying this process could leave your security system vulnerable.
  • By keeping your system current, you bolster your cyber defense, making it considerably more challenging for hackers to identify an entry point and minimizing the risk of security breaches.
  • By taking a proactive approach and ensuring that you are running the latest firmware and software, you significantly enhance your security stance, safeguarding your security cameras against the ever-persistent menace of cyber threats.

Strong network security

illustration of a hacker failing to access a cctv camera network

In the world of camera security, your home or business network is an often-overlooked sentinel standing guard. Just as your cameras are essential for safeguarding your property, your network security is crucial to ensure that intruders cannot access or compromise your cameras. Here’s why it matters and how to fortify your network security:

A Critical Link in the Chain:

  • Your home or business network serves as a vital component in the intricate web of camera security. It is the bridge that connects your cameras to the digital world.
  • A robust network security strategy is essential to deter intruders from infiltrating your network and potentially disabling or disrupting your cameras.
  • Even if your cameras boast the latest firmware updates, a weak network can serve as an open invitation for tampering with your security system.

Building Fortifications:

  • To fortify your network security, start by ensuring that your cameras are isolated from public networks. This isolation creates an additional layer of protection, making it considerably more challenging for unauthorized individuals to breach your network.
  • Equally important is the implementation of a solid firewall. A well-configured firewall acts as a gatekeeper, monitoring and filtering incoming and outgoing network traffic. It serves as a formidable defense against intrusion attempts.
  • By shoring up your network security, you create a formidable barrier, safeguarding your cameras and enhancing the overall integrity of your camera security system. This ensures that your cameras continue to function as vigilant sentinels, undeterred by potential threats.

In a world increasingly interconnected through digital means, the strength of your network security is paramount. By adopting these measures, you can fortify your network’s defenses, protecting your security cameras from potential tampering or disruption.

Inhibit physical access to cameras

When it comes to securing your CCTV system, guarding against physical tampering is as critical as fortifying your digital defenses. Here’s how to ensure that your cameras remain impervious to unauthorized access through physical means:

Camouflaging the Path:

  • One of the primary vulnerabilities in any CCTV system lies in the cables and wires that connect your cameras to their control hub. These visible connections can be tempting targets for those seeking to tamper with your system.
  • To counter this threat, make it a priority to conceal all cables and wires heading to and from your cameras. Hiding these connections from plain sight can serve as a robust first line of defense.
  • Consider routing the cables inside your walls or through your roof rather than leaving them exposed on the outside of your building. This strategic move ensures that potential intruders won’t have easy access to these vital components.

No Hiding Place for Tampering:

  • Even if you’ve positioned your cameras in seemingly hard-to-reach locations, remember that exposed wires can compromise the entire setup. Determined individuals can trace these wires and attempt to tamper with your cameras from afar.
  • By taking the necessary steps to conceal your cables and wires, you eliminate the opportunity for tampering and enhance the overall security of your CCTV system.

By focusing on inhibiting physical access to your cameras, you create an additional layer of defense that complements your digital safeguards. This comprehensive approach ensures that your CCTV system remains robust and resilient against potential tampering, safeguarding your property and peace of mind.

Periodically check access logs

security log cctv

Monitoring access logs is a prudent practice that enhances the security of your CCTV system. Here’s how periodic checks of these logs can help you maintain the integrity of your security setup:

Vigilant Tracking:

  • Access logs are indispensable tools in network security, serving as a comprehensive record of who has accessed your CCTV system, when they did so, and from which device. Regularly reviewing these logs is akin to keeping an eagle eye on the activities within your system.
  • If you encounter any unfamiliar names, login attempts at strange times, or notice a user accessing your network from an unfamiliar IP address, these are clear red flags that warrant immediate attention.

Prompt Action for Enhanced Security:

  • Detecting an IP address from a location where you haven’t been can be an alarming discovery. In such cases, swift action is essential to maintain the security of your system.
  • To counter potential threats stemming from unauthorized access, consider taking these steps:
    • Reset all passwords to new, secure ones.
    • Log everyone out of the system to ensure that no unauthorized users retain access.
    • If you’re unsure about the procedure or need expert assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your CCTV system installer for guidance and support.

By periodically checking your access logs, you remain proactive in safeguarding your CCTV system, promptly identifying and mitigating any suspicious activities or security breaches. This proactive approach helps maintain the overall security and integrity of your surveillance setup.

Use encryption everywhere

encryption across your CCTV system

Ensuring encryption across your CCTV system is a fundamental aspect of bolstering network security. Here’s a practical guide to implementing encryption to safeguard your network signals and internet connection:

Automatic Encryption for Modern Devices:

  • Most modern and reputable devices come equipped with built-in encryption capabilities. These devices are designed to provide a secure environment for your CCTV cameras and controllers.
  • Encryption is applied automatically, ensuring that every connection within your system is fortified, particularly when sensitive login details are transmitted over the network.

Manual Setup for DIY and Budget Systems:

  • In cases where you’ve chosen the DIY path or opted for more budget-friendly cameras and controllers, you may need to take a more hands-on approach to ensure encryption.
  • Verify that encryption is enabled for all connections within your system, especially during the transmission of login credentials. Manual configuration ensures that your CCTV system remains a secure fortress even in a low-budget setup.

By embracing encryption throughout your CCTV system, whether it’s through automatic application in modern devices or manual setup in DIY and budget-friendly setups, you fortify your network security. This simple yet effective measure safeguards your network signals and internet connection, providing you with peace of mind when it comes to the security of your surveillance infrastructure.


By being smart with your network and camera connections you can be happy knowing your camera system is secure from hackers. With encrypted connections and solid passwords, as well as checking the access logs for suspicious access, you’ve almost covered all the bases. And if your cameras and their cabling is physically very hard to access, you are safe on all fronts. If you are worried about your system and would like a consultation, feel free to get in touch.

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