Posted on

Security For Your Security

If you’ve created an account on any website in the last 5 years, you’ll be familiar with password requirements. 8 characters, alphanumeric, etc… sometimes even special characters. Regardless of its inconvenience, it’s a good practice. So, what does that have to do with your CCTV system?

A surprising number of people leave the default password on their home security systems and cameras. A staggering number, actually. “It’s easy to remember,” you may say. Well… that’s true, but it’s also easy for anyone in the world to gain acess to. And then access your CCTV system. Maybe it’s your home security system, so they can peek in on your family. Maybe your business security system, so they can keep track of when you are and aren’t in the office / store. Maybe it’s just to access your system to add to a botnet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botnet).

Simply put, a botnet is a network of devices that can be used to do harm, like sending a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, steal information, send spam, or give the attacker access to said systems. If you think P.C.s are the only devices that are vulnerable, you may be surprised to find out that even Smart Refrigerators have been used in some botnet attacks. Chills your drinks, and takes out a government server!

Most people would like to believe that it wouldn’t happen to them, but sincerely, why take that risk? It’s really a simple thing to prevent. It turns out that “password” isn’t really a great password.

How would you prevent this from happening? Strong passwords are a good start. You really should consider a password that’s at least 9 characters long, alphanumeric, with special characters, and varied case. Also, rename the admin account, rather than just using the name ‘admin’. Here’s an example of a changed username and strong password:

Username: DAdams42

Password: [email protected]

The password above has a special character, varied case, five numbers, and it’s 11 characters in length. Just write it down and keep it in your wallet or other safe place, if need be.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a pain to put that in every time you’d like to view playback on your NVR, but it’s better than someone being able to access your personal cameras. Now, this mostly applies to IP Cameras, but also goes for any home CCTV system that’s connected to the internet. IP cameras and systems just happen to be a bit more neglected as far as passwords go.

Now, keep in mind that if viewing your CCTV system from outside your home or office isn’t a big deal to you, you can always just leave it disconnected from the internet. That will prevent anyone from being able to connect to it remotely.

This author isn’t usually an alarmist, but botnets like Mirai and the newest one The Reaper (yeah… doesn’t really invoke images of bunnies and rainbows), can cause serious damage, and most people have no idea that their hardware is being used for this kind of thing. I’m going to include some reading material for you guys just below here, but to sum up my point, you really should consider security for your security. It’s a simple measure than can save some hassle and embarassment. And can prevent people from using your equipment and internet connection to do harm to others. Plus, the internet doesn’t need to see video of you in your skivvies.

https://www.wired.com/story/reaper-iot-botnet-infected-million-networks/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirai_(malware)

https://www.cnet.com/news/fridge-caught-sending-spam-emails-in-botnet-attack/

Posted on

IS IT COMPATIBLE?

With advances in CCTV technology, there come some challenges. If you purchased a home or business system more than a couple of years ago, you may have to consider compatibility when thinking about an upgrade. This may seem daunting, but in fact, might be a little easier than you think. Many of the security DVRs that we offer are actually backwards compatible, for the most part. This may not be the case if you’re using an older CAT5 system (don’t worry, there’s a solution for this as well!), but if your aging system uses BNC cable, we’ve got you covered! STOiC, TruView, Watchman, and Samsung are compatible with your existing cameras. So, what does this mean for the consumer? In a word, choice. In a few more words, choice, and an affordable way to upgrade your system in stages. You’re able to upgrade your DVR now, keeping your existing cameras, and over time upgrade cameras to get the full potential out of your CCTV system.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you’re using a system that is utilizing BNC cables, you won’t have to run new cable. This can keep costs way down, and turn it from a job needing a contrator, to something that can be done by many people on their own.

So, what about those who aren’t ready to upgrade their whole system? Yep, there’s a solution there, too! We offer one of the few security cameras on the market that is specifically designed to be a replacement for older SD Analog systems. Not only that, with its 4-in-1 capability, it’ll upgrade with you when you’re ready. The STH-B7300W is a wonderfully rounded camera. Capable of 720p in AHD, TVI, and CVI, as well as CVBS (SD Analog), this can replace everything from Samsung’s SDC-5340 and SDC-7340, to Night Owl, LOREX, and even Samsung’s SDC-8440. What’s better than that? Well… STOiC’s two-year warranty is pretty great, too.

Well… given my long-winded introduction, let’s get to the whole point of this entry. Below I’ve compiled a small compatibility chart. This will be updated from time to time, so check back periodically. One more bit of information for you to think about: the STOiC cameras that we offer are compatible with most systems. Not just the STH-B7300W, but all of our STOiC cameras. When you order, just let us know which system you have (or, using the handy chart below, just let us know which video type your DVR uses). We’ll take care of the rest for you!

 

 

 

DVR COMPATIBILITY CHART

STOiC –  AHD+

TruView – TVI (5MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 1080p; 2MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 720p)

Watchman – AHD

Samsung – AHD

LOREX – CVI

Swan – TVI (Proprietary)

Q-See – TVI

Annke – AHD

Nightowl – AHD

Bolide – AHD

Speco – TVI

Super Circuits – TVI

 

Now, let me finish by saying that if you have any CCTV needs that need to be addressed, just let us know. We offer free consultations on system building, free technical support for any product purchased through us, AND you’re able to talk to a real person. If you’re an integrator or installer, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Give us an opportunity to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras!