If you’re the owner of a Ring smart home system, the recent security issues surrounding the Ring camera — including several families whose systems were hacked and a recent report from Motherboard demonstrating how easy it is to do — probably make you a bit nervous, rightfully so. The idea that the cameras that you installed in your home to increase security may actually give strangers access to you, your children, and your home is extremely unsettling.
It may be some comfort for current owners to know that it isn’t the hardware or the software itself that is being hacked. It’s you — or, in other words, the methods you use to password-protect and otherwise ensure that your account cannot be used by anyone other than yourself or your family.
Many of us have acquired rather lazy habits as far as app security is concerned. We use the same password for several accounts, settle for easily guessed passwords, or skip on using updated security methods such as two-factor authentication (2FA). But when you’re dealing with something as important as personal security, it’s wise to take no chances.
One of the first things to do is make sure you’re using a unique password for your Ring devices. It’s easy enough to find numerous instances where various services have been hacked and their lists of passwords taken. That’s why it’s not a good idea to use the same password for your smart home system as you are for, say, your music account. A handy tool to use — both to track all of your passwords and to generate complex new ones — is a password manager.
You also need to add two-factor authentication to your account. Ring offers its own 2FA method, which is suggested when you first install the app. If you skipped setting it up initially, you get another chance from within the app. Here’s how to set it up:
- Open the Ring app
- Click on the menu icon in the upper-left corner, and select “Settings”
- You’ll be brought to the “Account Settings” page. In the section titled “Enhanced Security, tap on “Two-Factor Authentication.”
- The next screen explains that now, whenever you submit your password, you’ll be texted a verification code. The phone number where codes will be sent is shown; you can change that if you need to.
Once you’ve enabled 2FA, it’s probably a good idea to change your password (even if you were using a unique one already), just in case your current password was picked up by someone. You’ll find the “Password” option on the same “Account Settings” page you were at before. Just tap on “Change,” and put in a new password — one that, hopefully, you’ve never used before.
And that’s it. For now, you’ve done what you can to secure your Ring account.
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