Don’t Waste Your Money: Doorbell and home security cameras

(WHTM)– Millions of homeowners now get some peace of mind from doorbells and home security cameras.

But that could be just an illusion if the cameras are easily hacked which consumer reports is now warning about.

Many of us now have cameras and voice-activated devices everywhere and shoppers like mom Amanda Compton love being able to keep a watch on things.

“It does a lot of work for you when you have kids, it kind of helps out a lot,” Compton said.

But Consumer Reports Magazine has just issued a warning about inexpensive doorbell cams made by Eken and sold by Amazon, Walmart, and other sites. It says hackers can easily watch your house.

Consumer Reports says it’s important to go with a reputable brand with top reviews.

Now prices on smart home devices are all pretty similar so you need to decide if you want to work with the Nest system, the Ring system, or someone else.

“We’ve got Nest, Blink, Ring, and Arlo,” —

Ring is now part of Amazon. Nest is part of Google. Choose your universe; spend between $200 and $2,000, and you have a smart home!

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“We’ve got carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, we’ve got cameras, we’ve got alarm systems. The cameras have both indoor and outdoor,” —-

But caution: IT consultant David Hatter says a hacker can watch your video cameras, and more, if you don’t change your default passwords.

“If you just buy a Nest thermostat and don’t change any of the settings, you’re ripe for hacking,” Hatter says.

Hatter says to protect yourself, do these things:

  • Change the default password on every smart device.

  • Put the PC you use for banking on a separate Wi-Fi network if possible.

  • And keep Alexa out of your bedroom because you can’t be certain it’s not listening.

  • Eken, meantime, tells Consumer Reports it is now addressing the findings of the investigation.

Finally, Walmart tells Consumer Reports it is pulling those Eken cameras from its stores and offering refunds if you purchased one.

So go with a top-rated brand so you don’t waste your money.

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