A wi-fi video baby monitor, also known as smart video baby monitor, comes with a camera and a corresponding app, allowing you to remotely check in on your baby using your smartphone, tablet and in some cases, your computer. It’s a useful piece of kit to own as you can look at your little one wherever you are, as long as you have a good wi-fi connection. But it could also get hacked.
How easy it is to hack a wi-fi baby monitor ? As the old saying goes, ‘it’s easy when you know how’. It doesn’t happen all the time, but there are disturbing stories of baby monitors being hacked by strangers who are then able to project their voice through the monitor’s speaker, or of footage from baby monitors ending up on websites.
Who Would Hack a Baby Monitor?
As odd as this sounds, some hackers may want to peer into parents and their children’s lives as if it was some strange reality show. People probably say all kinds of private stuff not even thinking that there might be some stranger on the end of that baby monitor.
Some net-connected baby monitors feature the ability for parents to talk back to the baby via a speaker on the baby monitor’s camera. The idea was that you could tell the baby “go back to sleep” or something and calm them down without having to go in their room and further disturb them. Some evil pranksters will purposely hack into baby monitors to use the talkback feature to try and scare the baby and/or the parents. The only person that finds it funny is them. There is probably a special place in hell for these people.
The bad guys will always find some use for this whether it’s stealing personal information that was heard over the microphone, extortion, blackmail, you name it and some criminal has already found some way to make money off of hacking baby monitors.
How can I keep my baby monitor safe from hackers? Hackers tend to crawl the web to find unsecured cameras, and then exploit them. They may do this for criminal gain, or just for kicks, either way you can protect yourself from this activity. If you’ve got a baby monitor that can be used over the internet or one that updates data to the Cloud or any third-party site, here’s how to keep it as secure as possible:
Set up your camera with a strong password that isn’t a repeat of passwords you use elsewhere. Do not use any default passwords supplied with the baby monitor as they may already be known to hackers.
Make sure you go the default settings and activate all of the security features available to you. Two-factor authentication is a useful extra layer of security and worth enabling.
If you’re using your smartphone app as a baby monitor, check the security settings and set a password if you can. Check for any security software updates for the camera and app regularly and make sure to install them. In some cases you can enable automatic updates.
Make sure your internet router or modem is secure (change any default passwords and install updates).
Care what you share, and turn off remote access to your baby monitor if you don’t need it. Don’t leave it open as a little eye in the room.
If you don’t want to switch if off, put a piece of tape over the camera. You don’t have to worry, just don’t leave yourself vulnerable.
Don’t be afraid to badger a retailer or manufacturer about the security of a device. The more people ask, the more security will become taken notice of. Demand security.
Setup a VPN on your router to protect all of your devices. Installing a VPN on your laptop or your phone is great, but it doesn’t protect home cameras or any other devices connected to your home router. With a VPN router, you can protect devices that don’t have an antivirus or don’t support VPNs themselves.