Many of the most cutting-edge residential security systems are integrating wireless communication methods to simplify installation and help you control the equipment from any distance. Unfortunately, those same advances can also make an otherwise tough security system just a little bit easier to bypass. Technologically advanced criminals could use these five tricks to disable or at least disrupt your security equipment unless you take steps to prevent their hacking efforts.

Jamming the Signal

For years, wireless signal jamming equipment was so bulky and heavy it was unlikely to be carried close enough to a home with a security system to create a problem. Today, a hacking burglar can accomplish the same jamming with a device smaller than a credit card. When the signal that your wireless security system relies on is jammed, none of the sensors will set off the central unit to alert you that someone is entering your home.

Some security equipment companies build jamming protection in from the beginning, but you can also add software to your computer or smart phone to detect targeted interference in the system. Finding out that someone is attempting to jam your system allows you to call the cops and notify your residential security company.

Guessing the Password

Of course, jamming can only be done by someone who is already in front of your door. In order to block the signal enough for the criminal to enter without setting off the alarm, they need to come within about 10 feet of the home first. Guessing the password and accessing the remote control system for the security equipment can be done from any distance. In fact, some white hat hackers helping businesses test their security systems have gained control of them from over 5,000 miles away.

Changing your password regularly and using complex combinations of numbers, symbols, and letters is the best way to prevent brute force hacking that relies on software to randomly test possible passwords. It's essential to make sure you change the username and password on your system as soon as you receive it. Too many systems are shipped with the word admin used for both the username and password, and failing to update this information leaves you particularly open to hacking because it's the first combination anyone will try.

Spoofing the Signal

It's not particularly hard to jam a wireless signal if you know the right frequency to use, but it's even easier to send a fake signal that triggers a false alarm. This is known as spoofing, and it's a favorite hobby for many hackers that would rather bother you with ear-splitting sirens than steal your valuables. However, criminals can spoof enough false alarms that your local police no longer respond to your system's distress calls. If the criminal can verify that your alarms are being ignored, they can slip in and out without worrying about a quick response time.

Equipment and programs that block jamming efforts will do nothing to protect you from spoofing. Only high-level encryption methods will ensure the packets of information transmitted between parts of your system can't be mimicked by a criminal with the right device. If your current hardware does not support encryption, update it as soon as possible.

Implanting the Device

Finally, there's a specific risk that comes from buying used residential security equipment, especially cameras. It's easy for a criminal to insert small implanted devices that allow them to watch you and your family members from any location in the world. Aside from the hackers using this monitoring technology to learn your schedule and pick a time to strike, they can also shut off the cameras during a crime so the monitoring company doesn't see what's happening in your home. Stick with brand-new cameras that come directly from the manufacturing or security company.