MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - If you have a security camera system inside your home, you could be inviting total strangers to watch your family's every move.
Families install surveillance cameras in their homes to keep them safe, but if your security system isn't secure, you may be broadcasting what's happening inside your home for the world to see.
The United States has more unprotected security systems than any other country. Hackers know how to find them and peek into your private world. However, it's not just hackers. A Russian website makes it easy for anyone to watch.
Surveillance cameras show what's happening outside a North Memphis home. It shows people walking in and out of a carport at another Memphis home, or a family playing in their backyard in Germantown. We easily found security cameras for all of these local homes on a Russian website.
It's not just homes. The website also gave us access to a security camera at a local radio station, where we watched the Public Information Officer for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office sitting down to prepare for his afternoon talk show. In some cases, the public can even maneuver homeowners' security cameras.
“That's crazy. I would be really worried if someone could control my cameras zoom them and do anything to them that would worry me,” said Shanna Eason.
Eason, an east Memphis mother of three, was shocked to find out people's security systems are accessible online. Eason has three security cameras at her home. One in the nursery, one in the playroom, and one in the backyard.
“For us, it's just a sense of security, and when I'm out with friends if I want to see how the baby sitter is doing or did they get them to bed on time, I can do that,” said Eason.
It may be a false sense of security.
I found one midtown Memphis camera posted on the Russian website. I went to the home to let the homeowner know her security cameras were being broadcast online. She had no idea it was open for the public to see.
“These cameras are pretty popular these days. You can run to Best Buy wherever and throw them up yourself,” said internet security expert Joe Pennel.
Pennel works at Team Logic IT. He says if you don't change the default settings, your home security system is vulnerable.
“It's frightening anything that goes on in your kitchen can be seen over that camera,” said Pennel.
That Russian website we told you about claims it doesn't hack into our home and business security systems. It says it only displays cameras without password protection.
Thursday at 10PM, we will show you how to lock your system down to keep your family safe.