Online security experts say that while home security camera systems can be beneficial, there are also inherent risks.
In Edmonton, there have been several incidents of thefts captured by home security cameras. The most recent one involves a wreath that was stolen off the door of Ryan Bruglemans’s house in Rundle Heights.
Surveillance video shows a woman removing the decorative wreath from Bruglemans’s front door then jogging to a vehicle with it.
“It’s a little bone-chilling to see someone come up here, to your sidewalk, and take it right off your door,” he said.
“You shake your head at it. It’s a little disappointing.”
Brugleman said it was important for him to have a security system. He purchased his house roughly a year-and-a-half ago and it came with a system in the doorbell. He can see whoever is at his door anytime on his phone.
“It’s just good for home security. It’s just good to see what’s going on.”
Nick Mayes, mobile manager of a local Best Buy store, said the chain is seeing more demand for the systems than in years past. He also said it is growing department within stores.
He said there is more choice for consumers and prices have fallen over time; there’s also the do-it-yourself aspect.
“They aren’t much more complicated to set up than a webcam. Basically, install them where you want. Most of them are all wireless at this point. They all run off of battery for the vast majority of them. They just connect to your wireless network,” he said.
“People are more interested in security. It gives them good peace of mind, especially when you’re out of town or away from the house. You can set them up to give you notifications when they do detect motion or you can just monitor as you wish.”
Online security expert David Papp agrees that the systems are convenient and portable, but he says that comes with a cost.
“With convenience, you’re usually compromising some form of security.”
Papp says the home security camera systems are “fairly easy” to hack.
“These webcams have security software updates just like any piece of software and most people never update them. Also, the default security settings are such that it’s really easy for you to access it, so therefore it’s easy for someone else to figure it out,” he said.
Papp suggests registering your system using an email address separate from your personal one to lower the risk of personal information being hacked.
“I’d probably put it on a separate Wi-Fi network. A lot of your home networks, you can install what they call a guest network. I would do that so even if it were compromised, [hackers] wouldn’t have access to any of my local files or local computers,” he said.
-with files from Emily Mertz