In the old days, an alarm system was just a tripwire tied to a bell or a guy on a horse riding around with a torch yelling that the Redcoats were coming. As technology has become more prevalent, so has the risk of hackers using a variety of tips and tricks to bypass your security system. For this reason, as well as the others listed below, it’s important to have your home alarm system and security cameras installed and monitored by a professional company to ensure that the safety of you and your family is a top priority.
What does hacking mean?
In 90s movies, a hacker was someone in a dark room who could type really fast until they magically managed to manipulate a computer system into giving them what they wanted. In reality though, hacking just means someone getting unauthorized access to any type of electronic or computerized system. It is as simple as that. If your friend guesses your password to your phone and unlocks it so they can snoop through it or play a prank on you, you were hacked.
When it comes to home security systems, hacking almost always means getting access to either the app that manages the alarm/cameras or circumventing the security system itself so that a breach of your home won’t sound an alarm. From doorbell cameras to wifi cameras to door and window sensors to the alarm panel, there are multiple avenues for a hacker to bypass your system. It’s something that tends to be easier to do with a self-installed alarm system and tends to be more difficult with a professionally installed and monitored home security system.
Does using a DIY security system mean I’m going to get hacked?
Not necessarily. However, in order to offer a security system that anyone can install by him- or herself, do-it-yourself alarm systems take a few shortcuts that put you at risk.
Shortcuts like what?
Some systems require only a simple username/password to access their app with no mandatory multi-factor authentication. Since many users don’t practice safe password techniques and use the same password for multiple accounts, if any account they’ve created becomes compromised, their username and password typically become publicly available on the dark web. Without some type of multi-factor authentication, a DIY home security system would be extremely vulnerable in that situation.
Other systems use very basic and easily discovered wireless frequencies to connect the sensors and the keypad with the alarm unit. A hacker with $15 can order a handheld radio that, when set to the right frequency, can interfere with the sensor notifying the control panel that a door or window has been opened. Using this radio, the hacker could just walk through the front door without any problem and your alarm system wouldn’t know what happened. Without using the right levels of encryption, authentication, and certification, these systems are at risk of being compromised.
Why is a professional home security system like ADS different?
Unlike DIY alarm system companies where your relationship with them ends the second they ship your system to you, ADS is with you for the long term. As a result, our products follow some of the strictest security and privacy standards for cybersecurity, and our staff is consistently kept up-to-date on all of the latest security threats and trends.
All of our products are designed to receive and install firmware and software updates automatically, ostensibly patching any flaws that may be discovered proactively. The devices themselves have unique dedicated identification certificates that must be presented electronically each time the device communicates with the base and authenticates itself, with a private key that never leaves the chip. Our apps require any device to have the proper authorization before permitting any function to execute, and our password requirements for you, the user at home, are enterprise-compliant (can’t be previously used password, must be 8 characters, contain number, capital letter and a special character). In addition, we collect logs of all device activities, giving us the ability to spot any attempt to circumvent the system.
What are your chances of being hacked with a do-it-yourself home security system? It’s hard to say, however, if you’re going to put the time, effort, and money into protecting your family, your home, and your valuables from intruders and thieves, we recommend against cutting corners to save a few bucks. With a professionally installed and monitored home alarm system like ADS, you’re demonstrating to those you love how important their safety and security truly is.
Want to find out more about what ADS can offer you? Build your system today!