How To Tell If Someone Is Watching Your Nest Cam

As terrifying as it may sound, a growing number of homeowners have reported hackers who had gained access to the Wi-Fi based surveillance cameras set up in their homes. In particular, incidents involving people who use Google's Nest security cam have been in the media spotlight since it was first released in 2015 (via Tech Crunch).

These cameras are popular among homeowners for their cutting-edge features and reliability and are frequently used to protect the most private areas of your home including bedrooms and nurseries. If they are hacked, digital intruders can not only spy on you and your family without you knowing — they can also talk to you through the security cam's two-way communication features.

While it is considered one of the more secure cameras available, sophisticated hackers are still able to crack passwords set by users. So, how do you know if someone is watching your cam, and what can you do to prevent your account from being compromised? 

How to know if someone is watching?

You can tell if someone is watching your Nest Cam simply by observing the LED lights on your device. Google uses a system of colored status lights to show if the camera is working or not. If your status light is solid green, it means that your camera is turned on, and actively recording images it sees. However, if the green status light is blinking, it indicates that someone — possibly a cyber criminal might be watching your live feed or using the Nest's communication features to eavesdrop on conversations within your home (via Google).

After a series of hacking incidents, Google upgraded the Nest's privacy features in 2019 by barring users from manually turning off the green status light. In the past, Google users had the option to disable the green light, but since Google made the changes, Nest owners can now only dim them, according to Tech Hive. Another way you can tell if your Nest is hacked is if you hear weird sounds, noises, or strangers talking through its communication features. Many homeowners discovered that their devices were compromised when they heard hackers speak directly to them or their children (via YouTube/GMA).

You need to protect your privacy

If you're a Nest owner, there are ways to safeguard your privacy. First, you should protect the data on your device by ensuring that the device itself and its apps are always updated, according to CNE. Also, do not use the same password for different sites you visit. These days, data breaches such as the 2019 Capital One cyber incident are fairly common and can expose passwords and login details that criminals use to hack into your devices.

Additionally, you should always use two-step verification to access your account. The two-step verification works for Nest by verifying your identity through a device like your smartphone. You provide a password, which Google uses to send a PIN to that device. This makes it hard for hackers to get your data because they would have to not only know your password, but also access the device where you send your PIN (via Tech Crunch).

Although Google has upped its security measures to protect Nest owners, it is still good to be wary of any suspicious activities you see or noises you hear on your security camera — because you never know, someone may be watching.