's Privacy Guide:

Turn on the news and you’ll see countless stories about security breaches, hackings, and misuse of customer information. Is your favorite product putting you at risk? We rated 170 different devices and services, including:

While the criteria for our ratings are different for home and digital security products, across the board, we examined:

  • Encryption methods
  • Software updates
  • Password requirements
  • Vulnerability management systems
  • Privacy policies

We’ve rated the security level of each product so that you can be better equipped to protect your personal information and prevent a hack.

This video provides an overview of the safest video doorbells, security systems, cameras, and VPNs. We rated all products on a scale of one to 10 based on how securely they stored your data – and how much of it they kept in the first place.

Aliza discusses the privacy and security of the most popular security products on the market.

How We Rated Products and Services for User Privacy

To create accurate rankings for individual products, we looked at a variety of factors. Two-factor authentication is important, but so is a company’s privacy policy. A history of data breaches is concerning – but did the company rapidly patch vulnerabilities? We considered all of that and more when we scored each product.

We assigned a maximum number of points to every category (with 100 total points available), and once scores were calculated for each category, we divided the score by 10 for the product’s final rating.

How We Rated Products for Privacy

Encryption: 15 Points

We checked each device’s encryption standards for data both in transit and at rest. We also checked that all network communications and capabilities were encrypted. Five points were given for each category.

Security Updates: Five Points

If a product offered automatic software updates, they were awarded three points, and if we could use the product during updates, we gave an additional two points.

Passwords: 10 Points

Having a mandatory password earned a service four points, and the ability to opt for two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication earned a service an additional three points each.

Vulnerability Management: Five Points

If a company listed a contact for reporting vulnerabilities, they earned three points, and we rewarded an additional two points for a bug bounty program.

Privacy Policy: 25 Points

We looked at each company’s privacy policy and deducted two points for what we deemed to be unnecessary logged data, like IP addresses, browsing history, time spent on the service, and the devices and browsers used. A maximum of 15 points could be deducted for this category. There were certain allowances made for specific products; for example, we would typically dock points for logging Social Security numbers, but we did not dock points in the identity protection category, as the monitoring of Social Security numbers is essential to the service.

We also took note of if a company allowed us to delete our data if we wanted to, and if we didn’t have the option, we deducted five points.

Lastly, we examined their third-party sharing policies. If they sold our information for marketing or advertising purposes, we took away five points. If they only shared our information with basic third parties like payment processing vendors, we did not deduct points.

Surveillance: 20 Points

For devices that could “spy” on us, like security cameras or doorbells, we noted if the camera footage or audio was logged, and if it was, we deducted five points for each. If a company tracked and logged location or GPS data, they lost 10 points.

Parental Controls: Five Points

The inclusion of specific software or accessories for parents to control what their kids do online earned a company five points.

Company History: 15 Points

If a company was embroiled in any data breach, security scandal, or hack where user data was compromised, they lost five points. If the company didn’t clearly outline how they would address the issue to ensure it would not happen again in the future, they lost an additional 10 points.

Additional Security Features: Five Points

While each product didn’t lose points if they lacked additional security features, if they went above and beyond in aspects like physical privacy shutters or digital privacy zones, they could earn back five points.

  • Security Cameras
  • Security Systems
  • Doorbell Cameras
  • VPN
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Antivirus Software
  • Password Manager
  • Smart Home
  • Dashlane Password Manager