Following the Government's announcement of new legislation to improve security standards in respect of internet-connected household devices at the end of January, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published new guidance regarding the safe use of 'smart' security cameras in homes to reduce the risk of unauthorised access to live feeds or smart camera images. The guidance explains how homeowners can set up smart cameras (home security cameras and baby monitors) which are connected to the internet to protect them from common cyber attacks.

The NCSC advises taking a number of steps which will make accessing smart cameras considerably more difficult including, changing default passwords to secure ones, installing software updates, disabling functions which allow remote viewing of camera footage over the internet if such features are not required and disabling UPnP and port forwarding technologies on routers (which can be utilised by cyber criminals to access devices, such as smart cameras, on networks).

While the sale of internet-connected devices is increasing and the benefit of many Internet-of-Things devices is obvious, deficient security continues to be a concern. This guidance will no doubt be welcomed by homeowners, especially those with young children.

Smart cameras and baby monitors can be watched by criminals over the internet by default, security chiefs warn.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is advising people to tweak the settings after buying them.

Easy-to-guess default passwords might let a hacker secretly observe a home through connected devices, it said.