Ring Doorbell Adds End-to-End Encryption to Keep the Bad Guys Out

Posted on by Dawna M. Roberts in News February 11, 2021

Ring doorbell is a favorite among home security enthusiasts. They will be delighted to hear that Amazon just improved the Ring doorbell by adding end-to-end encryptions to its video feeds to keep hackers out.

What is Ring Doorbell?

Amazon owns Ring doorbell and its line of home security cameras. It replaces your regular doorbell with a video camera and microphone. You receive alerts on your phone, watch, or Alexa device when someone rings the bell. You can view the person on live video and talk to them to provide instructions or ask questions safely before opening the door.

The Ring doorbell service offers saved video plans, and you can view your old videos online for a period of time. The Ring also provides protection plans like security monitoring and other home security devices like floodlights and door locks.

They have a section on their website showing how the Ring doorbell has helped users avoid crime by scaring away would-be predators or even animals.

What’s the Deal?

First, not all Ring doorbell models are “supported” in this update. However, those that are will benefit greatly. First and second-generation models will be excluded from this particular update. Check your model number to see if yours are included in the big upgrade.

Why End-to-End Encryption?

End-to-end encryption scrambles the data transmission from your Ring doorbell to its servers, where the video is stored for playback. Many users pay for 30-days of saved video. By encrypting the video, hackers would have an incredibly hard time intercepting or viewing it.

An announcement on the Ring blog describes it as “With End-to-End Encryption, customer videos are further secured with an additional lock, which can only be unlocked by a key that is stored on the customer’s enrolled mobile device, designed so that only the customer can decrypt and view recordings on their enrolled device.”

The new end-to-end encryption is an optional feature and does not take effect automatically. Users will need to log on and select it to turn it on for their account.

Why Should You Care?

Any type of IoT device, including security cameras like Ring doorbell, have increasingly become major targets for hackers. Anything with audio and video capabilities may be vulnerable to spying, hacking and can provide a quick and easy point of entry into your network.

End-to-end encryption is just one security measure to protect your network assets better. However, that alone cannot keep you safe. You must also be proactive and safeguard your accounts. If you reused your Ring doorbell login password on other accounts, and those were breached, someone could potentially log in without your knowledge and watch your streaming video. The FBI recently released a warning to consumers about the vulnerability of IoT devices connected to your home network.

Some Other Ways to Keep Your Home Security and IoT Devices Safe

Although adding end-to-end encryption is a useful feature, you cannot do enough to keep your devices safe. Some other tips for home security safety are:

  • Always use two-factor or multi-factor authentication when offered.
  • Use long, strong passwords on all your accounts.
  • Never reuse passwords on multiple accounts.
  • Turn on end-to-end encryption on any device that offers it, including the Ring doorbell.
  • Be on the lookout for phishing emails.
  • Never click a link or download attachments from emails.
  • Never share logins or give out private information to anyone you do not know.
  • Do not open the door for strangers; use your Ring doorbell to see who it is first.

Use common sense and secure your home network with monitoring, intruder detection, and advanced security.

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