Can Child Care Center Cameras be “Hacked”?
Streaming video from child care centers has evolved into a feature that is in high demand. Young families require transparency and connectivity in all parts of their lives, most especially when it comes to the care of their young children. During the pandemic when access into the building was restricted for safety, the ability to stream video was a benefit many families leaned on more than ever.
Smart devices with video are a normal part of our lives–the majority of our homes have smart speakers, camera doorbells, video baby monitors, and more. These connected devices, including streaming cameras, are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) that have exposed vulnerabilities in network systems, data security, and privacy. This threat carries extra weight in the childcare industry, where privacy and security are so important.
Ask these questions to find out.
How do you know if the streaming cameras from your childcare center are safe from these threats? Ask these critical questions of the childcare provider you’re considering if they offer streaming cameras.
Is your camera software built for childcare?
Some camera providers use third-party software and some use software that was created for retail, gas stations, and other businesses that don’t have the same privacy needs. Security begins with the developers who create the software. If unknown people can write code for inevitable updates, then they can also, intentionally or unintentionally, create holes in the security of a system.
Has it passed muster from a third-party IT security firm?
Simply adding an antivirus program to the network or running a software scan is not enough to secure streaming video. Reputable childcare video providers have a system that is reviewed and certified by an unbiased third-party internet security firm.
Is video access restricted?
The video gathered at your childcare center should never be publicly available online without a unique, encrypted password. The feed should be protected by a firewall that keeps unauthorized users out.
Does the video software use a secure cloud service like AWS?
All user data related to your streaming video system that is stored in the cloud should be encrypted and protected by a reputable provider, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Does your center use a separate network for cameras?
You want to avoid granting access to your business network when you offer a streaming video service to parents. Use a dedicated, separate network for cameras to protect other data, such as family records and financial information. This restricts possible access to customer data and reduces your exposure should parents experience a breach of their personal network.
How does your center manage passwords?
Students are always enrolling and graduating. Centers should have a strong system in place to add new users, update passwords and revoke access to parents who leave the center. If the provider you’re considering gives the same username and password to each family, you’re taking a significant security risk.
Is the data encrypted?
Usernames and passwords should always be encrypted to ensure data stays secure. All video and user data streaming through the cameras and servers should be encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS), the standard in internet data transfer security
Does the video software company monitor security remotely and all the time?
Be sure your school works with a camera company that constantly monitors camera systems for data breaches and new threats. Security measures should be part of the standard operating procedure for the system from day one, not an afterthought that’s only considered after a breach has happened.
Can you call the streaming video company for technical support?
From the initial hardware installation throughout the entire lifetime of a camera system, businesses need the support of qualified technical professionals for all users of the system and that includes families.
Secure streaming video systems, like WatchMeGrow that protect privacy, access, and provides transparency to families of children in care have been available for many years.
Childcare centers that don’t offer streaming cameras can be high-quality learning centers and provide excellent care. Reasons to stay away from providing camera access to families will vary and, if the provider you’re considering doesn’t have them, it’s a good idea to inquire why.
Are you a school or childcare center? Find out how easy it is to add a secure WatchMeGrow system to your offering. Schedule a Demo with our team today.
Are you a family with children in care? Find a school near you that offers secure streaming video from WatchMeGrow.
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