- Business Insider surveyed nearly 1,000 homeowners who use Amazon’s Ring home security devices.
- We asked people about a series of hacks targeting Ring users, as well as the company’s partnerships with police departments.
- While most owners were aware of security issues, the vast majority said the devices’ affordability and convenience outweighed other concerns.
- Read the full story on BI Prime.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For owners of Amazon’s Ring home security devices, the benefits may appear to outweigh the risks.
Ring devices across the US have been hit by a slew of hacks in the past two months, with hackers using hijacked devices to spy on people and harass them in their homes. Ring has maintained that the hacks resulted from people reusing passwords that were stolen in other breaches, rather than a breach in Ring’s network.
Business Insider surveyed 950 Ring owners about their thoughts on the hacks, Ring’s partnerships with police departments, and their reasons for owning the internet-enabled security devices. We also spoke to activists, cybersecurity experts, and Ring’s CEO about the security trade-offs associated with the technology.
You can read the full story on BI Prime. Here are four takeaways from our reporting.
The vast majority of Ring owners said they were aware of hacks, but that benefits of Ring, like convenience and a sense of “peace of mind,” outweighed security concerns.
By prioritising convenience and affordability, Ring has made itself indispensable to many users. This mirrors how Amazon has bolstered its other services despite concerns, including one-day delivery and low-price online retail.
Experts aren’t sure why there was a flood of Ring hacks in such a short time period, and warn that the hacks might not be over.
Brian Vecci, field CTO at data security firm Varonis, said that the uptick in reported hacks since December might not mean that the problem was a new one.
“It’s just that nobody was really noticing,” he said.
After months of hacks, Ring is taking steps to beef up security.
This month, the company is rolling out a privacy dashboard that will let people see who’s logged into their devices, and will begin requiring customers to use two-factor authentication, a safeguard against stolen passwords. It will also begin notifying users when someone logs into their account from an unfamiliar IP address.
Meanwhile, the company continues to expand its partnerships with police.
The number of police departments across the US partnered with the company has risen from400 in August to more than 500 today. Municipalities are even spending taxpayer money to convince more people to buy Ring cameras, with some cities committing up to $US100,000.
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