SPECIAL REPORT: Your home security cameras can be hacked

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT)-- Security cameras in houses are becoming more common, but are they safe?

"When installed correctly they're safe," Crystal Hicks, mom, said.

Crystal and her family recently had a break-in at their business. The robbers stole more than just money, they took some keepsakes too. But, they were able to catch the thieves after installing security cameras in their shop.

"So I very much feel like having a security camera in place keeps our valuables and family secure," Hicks said.

With a family of 11 kids, now they want to put cameras that can connect to their phones in their home.

"I've got older children that are now starting to babysit for me. So, I like being able to check in, just look on my phone and just say 'okay they're all where they're supposed to be, no ones there that's not supposed to be there,'" Hicks said.

Installing those cameras might be a good thing. So far in 2017, there have been over 300 commercial and residential burglaries in Grand Junction.

"I just feel like my children are safe, I'm safe, my belongings are for sure safe," Hicks said.

She's not the only one who feels this way.

"I would say rather than safe I always feel like I need to be prepared," Mike Kansgen, Director of Computer and Network Systems at Colorado Mesa Univerisity, said.

Some people just like to check in on their furry friends.

"We watch our dog and we just monitor whatever's going on," Jeremey Marshall, homeowner, said.

It's not just you and your family who may get a peek inside your home.

"Absolutely security cameras in the house can be hacked," Kansgen said.

If it's on the internet or an internet capable device, you bet someone, somewhere can watch it.

"If you're going to have cameras just be aware that your home isn't safe from peeping eyes anymore," Marshall said.

There's even a website where you can browse thousands of surveillance cameras all around the world.

"If it can be built, it can be reverse engineered, and that's what hackers do," Marshall said.

A quick Google search reveals hundreds of tutorials on how to hack into cameras.

"There's a lot of work involved in doing it, but if you want to go through the time and trouble to do it…it can all be exploited or hacked," Marshall said.

But for people like Hicks, cameras still make her feel safer.

"I think technology can be used for good things and for bad things," Hicks said.

Networked security cameras in houses are becoming more common, but are they safe?

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