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Cybersecurity expert explains how to keep your home surveillance safe from hackers

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ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) -- This holiday season, security experts are warning home security cameras have become vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Recently, hackers have gotten into Amazon Ring and Nest cameras, and even into smart home technologies like alarm systems and thermostats.

Two recent, high-profile incidents in Florida, Missouri and Tennessee saw hackers gaining access to families’ home surveillance systems and speaking to them.

“Most of what we’re seeing with the hacks of the cameras is just mischief,” said Don Vilfer with Digital Evidence Ventures.

Vilfer said more often than not, camera users aren’t being smart with their passwords.

“The most prevalent way that the hackers get in and the ones that some of them have publicized is by using already compromised email addresses and passwords,” he told FOX40.

Vilfer said there are lists of emails and matching passwords for sale on the dark web. Sometimes they’re just listed for free. He said he believes hackers are using those to test random Ring cameras.

Services like Norton and LifeLock will constantly check the dark web for your information, but Vilfer said the easier solution is two-factor authentication.

“Even if you've set up a password, then have two-factor authentication. So if there’s any changes to your account or access from an unusual area, then you’ll have to approve that via a cell phone text message,” he said.

Vilfer said it’s also good to always assume your cameras could be hacked, so be smart about where you’re putting them.

“No matter what security you have on your devices, you should not have your cameras pointing at anything that you wouldn't want to be publicly seen,” he said. “Just in case there is a compromise.”

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