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CCTV security alert issued

Dear BID member

Newport Business against Crime has been made aware that security cameras being used by businesses in the city centre are being compromised by offenders. This is possibly due to a lack of simply changing default passwords supplied on purchase and installation of new systems, or when additional cameras or equipment are added to existing ones. Keeping your security cameras safe from hackers is an essential step in your security. If you access your camera using your computer or mobile phone someone else may be able to access or “hack" it as well and use it for their own purposes. They may then go on to access all your business and personal details from your connected devices. Use these simple steps to protect your security cameras from hacking so you don’t need to worry that your images will be shown over the internet or your cameras are being used by others for their own benefit. To keep your cameras safe from hackers:

  1. Choose a router with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) security, which encrypts your data.

  2. Enable your cameras' built-in firewall, which monitors and controls information coming to and from the camera. Instructions for doing so will be included with your cameras.

  3. Protect your cameras with a strong password. If your cameras come with default passwords, change them immediately.

  4. Protect your Wi-Fi router with a strong password (different from the ones for your cameras).

  5. Turn on two-factor authentication if it's offered. (All the home security camera companies in our ratings require two-factor authentication.)

  6. Keep your camera’s firmware up to date.

  7. Set up a separate network with a separate router for your cameras. Where the camera network connects to your main network (e.g. at your router) set up rules to ensure that no unexpected communication can occur between your cameras and other devices on your network, or between your cameras and unknown destinations.

All security cameras are vulnerable and how they are set up on the network is the most important consideration. Some manufacturers are more security-conscious than others, and most of the risk of having a security camera can be mitigated if you take appropriate steps on your network. Most security camera hacks aren’t the fault of the camera. They usually happen because the same passwords were used on another site and that database was breached, or because old or default passwords such as ‘admin, 1234, or password’, have not been changed. If you or your security providers use a cloud based server to store data, the security is only as strong as the persons accessing and controlling it so make sure you use a recognised provider and that all systems, passwords and security checks are regularly checked, changed and software is updated. Setting strong, unique passwords is hard, and coming up with a new one for every service you use is virtually impossible, but you should never reuse passwords as this is how security cameras get hacked. Millions of passwords have been accessed by hackers due to company data breaches at large organizations such as Equifax, Marriott, and Capital One and then published on the web for anyone to see. So, if you use the same passwords for all your devices and web pages or don’t even change the default password you're making yourself vulnerable. A good password should:

  • never be reused

  • be long (a minimum of 12 characters, although longer is better)

  • use a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters

  • never use personally identifiable information, such as a street you live on, your birthday, or your email address

You should change your passwords regularly, and immediately if any of the following happen:

  • A service you use informs you of a security breach.

  • You suspect someone has attempted to access your account.

  • You find malware, ransomware, or other unauthorized software on one of your devices.

  • You logged into an account while using a public computer or while using an unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspot, such as at an airport or library.

All BID members are part of Newport Business against Crime so please get in touch if you think we can help and point you to the right advice and guidance. Remember ‘…You don’t know what you don’t know…’ Best regards Bob


Bob Bevan NBaC Manager 07805 711917


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