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The National Cyber Security Centre has issued safety advice for security cam users

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has created a safety checklist for anyone still brave enough to buy themselves an internet-enabled camera.

The last few months have been littered with high-profile webcam security breaches, with creeps on the internet hacking into live feeds and even talking directly to children. A lot of the stories have revolved around Amazon Ring products, but some Google Nest owners were recently hit by a ‘sextortion’ scam too.

Related: Breaches, leaks, and data-sharing – how it went wrong for Amazon Ring

In an attempt to stop the tide of these leaks and hacks, the NCSC this week issued a very short checklist that it hopes will help keep customers safer.

The first thing it recommends doing is switching up your password. Camera products often come with a painfully simple default password, which the NCSC recommends you change as soon as you can.

Secondly, the NCSC advises that you stay on top of your security software updates – it’s usually pretty easy to check if you’ve got the latest stuff installed via the camera’s app.

And finally, the NCSC also says you should disable remote connection if you don’t use this feature. Given that this is one of the biggest selling points of security cameras it feels like unhelpful advice, but it could be beneficial to anyone with a single monitor setup.

Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director, said: “We want people to continue using these devices safely, which is why we have produced new guidance setting out steps for people to take such as changing passwords. These are practical measures which we can all take to help us get the most out of our home-based technology in a safe way.”

Related: Best VPNs

As the internet of things continues to expand, safety and security issues continue to crop-up – and at the moment, it looks like the onus is being firmly placed on consumers to keep themselves safe. You can read the full guidance from NCSC here.

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