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Security Basics

, Am I secure?

, Burglary and Intrusion

Can Cove Be Hacked? Navigating Your Security Data.

Posted May 13, 2022 by Katy Sumsion

A mom and child with cove smart devices.

Alarm systems are complicated. While comparing home security companies, it's easy to get lost in the weeds of features and technology, especially if you're considering a DIY security system.

If you're considering Cove, a question you've probably asked yourself is, are Cove home security systems hackable? The simple answer is, not easily. Anything can be hacked, no matter how much security you have in place, but Cove has safeguards to protect your data from attackers.

You may have heard stories of security cameras being hacked into. It’s scary, for sure, but there are a few reasons why these stories shouldn’t prevent you from purchasing a security system.

This article will give you the information you need to know about how Cove protects your data, as well as a few additional tips for protecting yourself! We’re a security company, and we understand that your privacy is important to you.

How the Cove system works

Before we get into how we protect your information, we need to talk about how our system works. In the old days, security systems used hardwiring and landlines to connect sensors to the control panel and monitoring station. Today, we use a similar setup, but without the wires.

There are three “levels” in every security system:

  1. Sensors (including door sensors, window sensors, and motion sensors)
  2. The control panel
  3. The monitoring center

The point of the system is for the sensors to detect when something goes wrong. The sensors report to the main hub (in our case, the Touch Screen Panel), and the hub reports to the professional monitoring station.

Our system is set up so that the sensors communicate with the panel using 345 MHz radio waves. The panel communicates with the monitoring station using 4G cellular connection. Our system doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi, except for our cameras, and we’ll talk about that later.

It is much easier for hackers to get into a Wi-Fi system than a 4G/radio system. So while it is technically possible to hack Cove, it is highly unlikely and very difficult to do.

Jamming and how it works

If a hacker did want to try and get into your Cove security system, they'd be required to have the technology on hand to jam the signal from the panel to the monitoring station, or from the sensors to the panel. Such technology is unlikely to be available to burglars, and jamming attacks are almost unheard of. 4G is still a much more reliable connection than a landline, which can easily be cut.

Essentially, a burglar would need prior knowledge of your security system, and a transmitter capable of intercepting the cell and radio signals in your home. Jamming is an unreliable way of disabling a security system, and burglars are much more likely to simply try to smash your panel.

Fortunately, Cove provides smash and grab protection as well, so if a burglar does try to smash your panel, it will trigger an automatic duress signal.

How we keep your cameras secure

Cove offers several cameras, including two doorbell cameras, an indoor camera, and an outdoor camera. Cove’s cameras are Wi-Fi-based, and they are not connected to our panel. Instead, they communicate with the Cove security app. From the app, you can view and save clips from each of our cameras.

People get nervous when they hear about Wi-Fi cameras, so here are a few key things to note:

  • Cameras can still be highly secure, even on Wi-Fi networks.
  • The best way to further your camera security is to protect your Wi-Fi network.
  • No camera is totally unhackable, but we make it very difficult for hackers to access your data.

One thing you need to know is that our monitoring team cannot view your live video feed or saved clips. Only you have access to your cameras. So do not let that prevent you from installing a camera to protect your home.

Here are a few more ways we keep your cameras protected:

  • You can set a personal 4-digit PIN for your camera feed, to prevent outsiders from viewing your cameras.
  • Communication between our cameras, the server, and your phone uses a two-way authentication process to make sure your personal information won’t be compromised.
  • All video that is stored in the cloud is encrypted to ensure that only you can view your video content. If anyone tries to intercept your video transmission, they’ll just see scrambled data.
  • Our encryption algorithm is designed to protect your data by changing the encryption keys periodically. In layman’s terms, we’re constantly improving our security to make sure your video feed is protected.

What is encryption?

Encryption is a way of scrambling data so that only someone with the encryption key will be able to unscramble it and access it. It’s very difficult to hack encrypted data if you don’t have the key, which is why we make sure all of your camera data is encrypted.

Protecting your Wi-Fi

One of the best ways to protect your data is by configuring your Wi-Fi securely. Here are a few things you can do to protect your data.

  • Start by logging into your Wi-Fi administrator account (the information can be found on the bottom of your router).
  • Change your SSID from what the manufacturer set. Name it something that you can remember.
  • Set up a new password!
  • Create a guest network that is specifically for guests. The more people that know your password, the more likely you will be hacked.
  • Change your encryption settings from WEP to WPA+TKID.

The bottom line

No security system is going to be 100% unhackable, but we provide several levels of protection for your data and your home. And there are steps you can take to be even more in control of your data. If you have further questions about how to protect your home, please call us or chat with us. We're here to help.

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