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Is Your Baby Monitor Being Hacked? Here’s What to Do

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A baby’s room is a sacred place for new parents. The safety of the little ones is paramount, and their room should be the safest place of them all. But of course, you know that, and that’s why you cleaned every surface, padded every corner, and made sure that all the scents and sounds in the room are comforting and soothing.

You may be wondering, “What else is there to do?”. Plenty. Modern times come with modern problems.

The sanctity of your baby’s room can be violated by hackers. So how on earth can baby monitors be hacked?

Internet-Connected Monitors

Baby monitoring devices have evolved over the years. The first models were nothing more than crude radio transmitters paired with a receiver.

It wasn’t uncommon for such a device to pick up radio signals. You had to be pretty unlucky to have such a baby monitor hacked.

The next step was the introduction of video. Now, blear-eyed parents could see their precious bundle of joy as well. That also meant that there was a new security risk in addition to the possibility of eavesdropping.

New features just kept piling up. Soon, night vision technology was added. Parents could keep an eye on their child even when the lights were out.

The next step in the evolution of infant monitoring systems came along with the advent of smartphones. All of a sudden, dozens of popular “connected” monitors rapidly gained on popularity, as well as their corresponding apps.

Such apps allow parents to connect their monitoring devices to the web so that they could pair them with their tablets and smartphones. Distance isn’t a barrier anymore. Parents can view what’s going on in their child’s bedroom from anywhere in the world, as long as they are connected to the internet.

There is a dark side, as will all gadgets connected to the web. Complaints of parents about having their baby monitors hacked increased exponentially.

To make matters worse, baby monitor hacking occurs mostly because of flawed security within the devices Manufacturers didn’t really think anyone’s keen on baby monitor hacking. Sadly, the internet never fails to surprise.

Someone people will try to cask any gadget that’s connected to the internet. There are no exceptions.

Who would hack baby monitor?

Pranksters

Some infant monitoring devices have a talk-back feature which allows the parents to engage with their little one via a speaker. The idea behind it is to enable parents to calm down their child by singing lullabies without having to go inside their room, as that would likely disturb the infant even further.

Some people with a disturbing sense of humor might use a hacked baby monitor to try and scare the child by using the feature. There is probably a special place in hell for pranksters who take part in such evil activities.

hackers laptop

Voyeurs

It may sound unusual, but creeps have been hacking into such gadgets to peer into the everyday lives of families as if they were some strange reality shows. Parents say all kinds of personal stuff, believing that their secrets are safe in the privacy of their own home. But some stranger might be listening and watching on the other end.

Criminals

The baddies never cease to fail in finding creative ways to harm other people and incur damage to society. They could listen in to your conversations in order to record sensitive information they could use for extortion. There have been documented cases of profiting off of hacking infant monitors.

Be on the Lookout for Updates

The first step you should take is checking the manufacturer’s website for software updates. Typically, the firmware (software that runs the device) has regular security updates issued by the manufacturer.

Chances are your camera manufacturer often releases updates that are supposed to fix software flaws and security issues. Make sure to check frequently to see if any new firmware has been released.

You might be able to turn on system or email notifications in the settings tab that will inform you of any new updates. Sometimes, new security features are added to the software. It’s best to take advantage of all of the security options the device offers.

Create a Strong Password

As is the case with plenty of such devices, your camera has probably arrived with a default username and password. They might look cryptic and unique, but the same default password is often set for every model.

Even though that may not be the case, be sure to change the password, as well as the username, as soon as you set up the camera. Make it as strong as you can, use symbols, numbers, and both upper-case and lower-case letters.

Don’t use family birthdays, pet names, etc. – you know the drill. Hackers are counting on you not to create a strong password as the easiest way for them to penetrate the system is through a weak password.

Technically, it’s not hacking, as it’s just a simple login with the default username and password. That makes it even more dangerous as anyone can do it – there are almost no skills required. Don’t hesitate – change the password ASAP.

Set the Network to Local Only

You will need to weigh the pros and cons of running your device in “internet-connected mode.” Using the internet-connected features might not be worth it.

So, another safety measure you could take is set up the device to only be accessible via your local network. It will significantly lower the chances of your device being hacked.

Again, it’s up to you to decide how far you want to go in securing the device. If your risk tolerance level is quite low, check the manufacturer’s website for “local only set up” instructions.

Secure Your Wireless Router and Home Network

Setting up your monitoring device and app won’t be enough to ensure the best possible security. Browse the internet for home network security and wireless security to learn more about ensuring the safety of your entire home network. The configuration steps depend on the operating system of your PC, tablet, or smartphone, as well as on the brand and model of your router.

Conclusion

Constant vigilance is essential when caring for an infant. However, the better you secure your home, the less you have to worry about vulnerabilities. Think about securing all of the digital devices in your home.

Your child might not yet grasp the concept of privacy, but they are still entitled to it. Think of digital safety as akin to personal hygiene. A couple of minutes each day will help you ensure the safety of your home.

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