He sees you when you're sleeping and when you're awake via unsecured IP cameras

bedroom shot via unsecured ip security camera
Credit: Insecam

What if any he or she with an Internet connection could see you when you’re sleeping, know when you’re awake, or if you’ve been bad or good? If you don't password protect your IP surveillance camera then anyone can.


According to the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Santa “sees you when you're sleeping;” and he “knows when you're awake;” Saint Nick “knows if you've been bad or good…” But what if any he or she with an Internet connection could see you when you’re sleeping, know when you’re awake, or if you’ve been bad or good? The idea is creepy as can be, but it’s still a fact for people who have installed a security camera without setting a secure password.

I’m all for domain privacy, even though the U.S. wants to kill it off via the TPP, but the admin of Insecam is wise enough to use a privacy protection service. There is a bit of irony in that perhaps.

Insecam, the world’s largest directory of online surveillance cameras which are not protected by a unique password, claimed to have made changes since news of over 73,000 unsecured cameras hit the Internet. Some of those changes to the site are purportedly to better protect privacy as a year ago the site boasted that anyone can see into “bedrooms of all countries of the world.”

Since then Insecam noted, “The following actions were made to Insecam for the protection of individual privacy:”

Only filtered cameras are available now. This way none of the cameras on Insecam invade anybody's private life.

Well that would be good news if anyone with an Internet connection could no longer visit the site and peep into bedrooms. In theory anyone can add an unsecured camera to the listing, but it will be “available only after administrator’s approval.” If an admin gave the following cameras a thumbs up review, then how is not invading Americans' private life?

beds and sleeping children Insecam
bedroom shot via unsecured ip security camera Insecam
several beds via foscam Insecam
beds via foscam Insecam
crib via linksys Insecam

Insecam also says, “Any private or unethical camera will be removed immediately upon e-mail complaint. Please provide a direct link to help facilitate the prompt removal of the camera. If you do not want to contact us by e-mail, you can still remove your camera from Insecam. The only thing you need to do is to set the password of your camera.”

Perhaps this camera was in the process of being removed as clicking on a thumbnail from the list of unsecured cameras in the U.S. opened the following login.

clicking link to view insecure camera opened login for camera Insecam

Where’s the privacy in these living rooms and kitchens?

no privacy in those living rooms Insecam
living room decorated with christmas via panasonic Insecam
dogs running and jumping on couch via linksys Insecam
parrot eating on the kitchen counter Insecam

Regarding the last three images, I didn't mean privacy of the cat, dogs or parrot eating off the kitchen counter. People did walk in and out of the surveillance stream.

Parents, I beg you, if you really feel it is necessary to use an IP camera as a baby monitor then please take a minute to set a secure and unique password. Using the default password almost seems like it borders on child abuse as you are potentially opening the door for your child and yourself to be harassed and hacked.

foscam login Insecam
linksys setup Insecam

Any camera on Insecam is linked to a login, setup or controls if any person clicks on a surveillance feed image; while some need to be set up, others warn to change your password. What if some cameras are just waiting for some malicious person to enter the default password? Do you want someone else to take control of your security camera or possibly lock you out? Those pictures of bedrooms above . . . do you actually believe no one is watching when someone is in the room, sleeping or otherwise occupied?

The holidays are upon us and even more cameras will be coming online as undoubtedly some folks will receive IP security cameras for Christmas. There is nothing wrong with trying to provide security for you and yours by setting up security surveillance cameras around or outside your home or business, but if you can’t take the time to setup a password and make that Internet-connected camera private, then maybe you should put it back in the box and return it? Otherwise, remember to smile as you are on candid camera for all the world to see.

Part 1: Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords

Part 2: U.S. still No. 1 for unsecured security cameras: Creepy site linked to over 5,700 in U.S.

Part 3: About those unsecured security cameras in the US without password protection

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