How to secure your Nest camera from hackers

A small but increasing number of Nest security camera owners across the country are reporting their cameras have been hacked, often to blast out audio messages. In one instance, a California family received a fake warning of a North Korean missile attack.

The problem isn’t with Nest. Google confirms that the service has not been breached. What’s happening is that some people are reusing passwords across multiple sites, so if one site is hacked, attackers take that email address and password and try it against other sites.

But safeguarding your Nest account is easy with two-step authentication. This requires you to verify your identify using a trusted device, such as your smartphone. You provide your password in the first step, and Nest then sends a PIN to your trusted device. You must then provide both pieces of information to access your Nest account. 

It works because hackers can’t get into your account with a password alone: They would need to steal your Nest password, your trusted device (your smartphone), and they would need to know the PIN needed to unlock that device.

Here’s how to set it up on your Nest account.

190123 nest 02 Martyn Williams/IDG

Two-step authentication on the Nest app

Open the Nest app, click the gear icon in the top right corner. Next, click “Account” and then “Manage Account.”

On the second line you’ll see the setting for “Account Security.” It will say “Password Only,” unless someone in your family group has already set up two-step authentication. If they have, you’re good to go.

If not, click on “Account Security” and you’ll land on a page where you can change your Nest password and switch on two-step authentication.

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