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Let's face it, it has never been easier or cheaper to put some kind of security system in your home. Today, with the range of connected products available, the risk of unwarranted access to your home is higher, and goes beyond impish kids turning off your lights remotely. With reports of bank details, insurance info, and credit cards being hacked, it seems nothing is safe. Without proper security, a high-tech home could be susceptible to actual or digital theft. Because your home may be smart, but digital criminals are smarter.

That said, installing a home security system won't necessarily bring a wave of hackers inside your smart home—but getting exposed due to your system’s security failing is surprisingly common. If you're using an ADT home security system, this article will guide you through the steps to level up your device security and data privacy.

First Things First: A Quick Overview of ADT Home Security System

ADT is an undeniable leader in the security industry with 145+ years of experience and reputation—making it a household name in the U.S. ADT offers three primary home security system packages—the Secure Home, the Smart Home, and the Video & Smart Home. Each can be personalized to suit your preferences. Plus, all three ADT packages come with a digital touchscreen control panel, three door/window alarms, 24/7 alarm monitoring, a motion detector, and professional set-up and installation.

Conventionally, home security systems relied on a wired home phone to give a 24/7 link to a security company, but a lot has changed with the introduction of cellular technology. So, ADT has progressed to offering both wired and wireless home security services. For example, ADT monitoring packages all require a landline. But even if you don't have one, you can still take advantage of ADT monitoring with CellGuard, which uses cellular technology to communicate with the ADT monitoring center.

Is ADT Home Security System Susceptible to Hacking?

The short answer is yes! Just like any other connected device or security system, your ADT home security system can be hacked. Before moving on to discussing ways to solve the problems of ADT security system vulnerability, it is helpful to understand how exposed your ADT home security system really is.

ADT Wireless Home Security System

ADT wireless home security system uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to connect to motion sensors or other similar components. Those wireless signals are how sensors can communicate with each other and the base station. When a door or window is opened, the wireless communication triggers an alarm, which sends a signal to the monitoring center. These wireless connections can potentially be interrupted—providing a way in to thieves and hackers.

ADT Wired Home Security System

ADT wired home security system uses a telephone line to communicate with the monitoring center. If the lines are exposed outside the home, one cut can collapse the entire system.

Does ADT Prevent Hacking?

For ADT, security is a prime concern. For that reason, the company pulls out all the stops to keep your data and system safe. Here’s how:

App Protection

ADT Mobile App does not work on “rooted” or “jailbroken” devices. This helps ADT reduce the impact of viruses, malware, and spyware.

Encryption & Z-Wave Technology

The ADT Command system uses cutting-edge two-way radio frequency encryption technology with all compatible devices. This two-way encryption technology protects your privacy and reduces the risk of hacking while establishing a secure connection with your devices.

Plus, all ADT smart devices work on Z-Wave technology—a wireless radio frequency that helps your home electronics talk to each other, and to you. So your devices can communicate locally, are not directly connected to the internet, and have a short range of reach. This adds an additional layer of protection to your ADT home security system.

Virtual Assistant Integration

If you decide to use a virtual assistant as part of your security system, ADT uses voice codes and automatic disconnects to prevent you from getting hacked. ADT requires you to set up a voice code, which Alexa will need to hear to perform any given command. If you give a wrong code three consecutive times, ADT will automatically remove your Alexa account.

Identity Theft Protection

ADT offers identity theft protection for $9.99/mo. This service provides 24/7 monitoring of the dark web and other places—such as credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, social security numbers, passports, driver’s license, and email addresses— where your identity might be stolen.

Perhaps the best thing about this service is you can get up to $1 million in identity theft expense reimbursement.

How You Can Protect ADT Security System from Being Hacked

As an ADT subscriber, there are a few things you can do to protect your home from intruders.

Boost Your Router Security

When it comes to safeguarding your home security system, there may be no tool more important than the wireless router that powers your in-home network. Because it transmits all the data into and out of your residence via WiFi, the device has long been a target for hackers.  Here is a list of ways to secure your router’s privacy:

  • Use secure passwords: To improve security and prevent hackers from accessing your account, make sure you protect your router with a strong password, which you change frequently.
  • Enable encryption: Turn on encryption on your Wi-Fi router. This feature helps scramble the information sent over the internet to make it more secure.
  • Update firmware: To avoid little-known firmware security vulnerabilities, set your router to update automatically.
  • Double-check security settings: When choosing from security protocols, go for WPA2-AES or WPA3 (if available) for the best Wi-Fi security. It ensures that data sent or received over your wireless network is encrypted, and only people with your network password have access to it.
  • Disable features you don’t use: Most routers come with Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) enabled, which puts you at risk of malware infection. So unless you really need it for something, make sure to disable it.

Protect Your Home Security Cameras from Hackers

ADT cameras include a high-end encryption protocol known as WPA2, which is the industry-recognized method to keep your wireless communications private. This means if you deploy the latest app and device updates, you shouldn’t fear much of being hacked due to firmware or software vulnerabilities.

Below are some ways to protect your ADT cameras from being hacked:

  • Monitor Your Home via ADT App: ADT security cameras integrate directly with the ADT mobile app to give you instant access to your device and settings. Make sure you download this app to monitor and control your home in real time from virtually anywhere.
  • Update firmware: Make sure you update the firmware of your camera frequently or as required.
  • Change the default password: Change your default credentials to something that’s unique and strong.
  • Enable two-factor authentication: Make sure you change your privacy settings to two-factor authentication to prevent hackers from accessing your camera system even if they were able to crack your username and password.

Set Strong Password for Smart Locks

ADT’s smart locks use 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)—the standard encryption used by the U.S. government—to encrypt and decrypt a block of messages. Plus, ADT locks come with smart key technology, which allows you to rekey your locks effortlessly when you need to. 

  • To keep smart locks protected, you need to establish strong password security. Set a long and difficult password to keep hackers out of your system.

Protect Your Wireless Devices

While adding a wireless device to your home, make sure you take the following measures to level up your home security:

  • View and change the set of default settings that allow anything and everything. Make sure you share data with parties you trust.
  • Get a professional to help install and set up your ADT security system and devices properly.
  • Watch out for always-on devices, which increase the risk of being hacked and losing private data. You can change the settings on these devices to restrict or disable what they are doing.
  • Create a separate Wi-Fi network for your smart devices to improve security and reliability.
  • Don’t forget to unplug devices when going out. Doing this blocks all paths for a determined hacker from accessing these devices.
  • Avoid keeping smart devices and cameras in your bedrooms and private spaces.
  • If a device is no more useful for you, always reset it before selling or giving it away. This will wipe all your data from the device and prevent someone from finding your information.

There You Are!

Who doesn't need a smart home experience along with a reliable home security system ADT offers? Of course, all of us have a dire need to protect device security and data privacy. But nothing can be more terrifying than letting intruders hack your ADT home security system—just because of your device's security shortcomings.

Therefore, we would recommend you take all the necessary measures to protect your ADT home security system from hackers. And if, however, at some point you wish to speak to an ADT Customer service representative, call 1-844-343-1168.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can your ADT security camera be hacked?

Yes, but it depends on what security measures you have taken to secure your ADT cameras. In simple words, as long as you keep your apps and devices updated, ADT security cameras may not become a target of hackers due to software or firmware vulnerabilities.

What does "ADT cellular failure alert" mean?

When your ADT control panel gives a cellular failure alert, it means the panel is unable to send signals to the ADT monitoring center. Try to resolve this issue at your earliest to avoid any possible consequences.

Is ADT really secure?

ADT is one of the most reliable and trusted home security companies in the United States. The company has a large network of monitoring centers nationwide. Cellular monitoring, professional installation, security consultation, and smart home control make it all the more worth it!