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Do You Have Baby Monitors in Your Home?

Posted by on Mar. 22, 2016 at 9:15 PM
  • 6 Replies

Baby Monitor Hacking Is Real: How to Keep Your Family Secure

video baby monitor

Baby monitors are something that parents use to keep their children safe, so the fact that predators have hacked into the devices to spy on and terrorize little ones is a particularly terrifying fact. For example, a Washington couple was horrified to discover that a man was watching (and sometimes even talking to!) their 3-year-old son through his baby monitor. The same thing could happen to almost anyone!

I spoke with Mike Foley, a wireless technology and bluetooth authority with The Expert Institute, about what parents can do to keep their monitors secure.

Choose your monitor wisely.

"I think the most likely type of monitors to be hacked are those that don’t support security," says Foley, "or more typically, those whose security features aren’t being utilized properly." So be sure to carefully research the security features of a given model before you buy, or, to be extra safe, go with an old-school audio-only monitor (let's face it, kids look super creepy on those video monitors anyway!).

Set your own security password.

This is really the one golden rule to follow above all else when it comes to using wireless baby monitors (many of which come with Internet connection and smartphone capability): "Check your security settings," says Foley.

"Most monitors like this have security such that a password is required to see the video, update settings, use the microphone, etc.," he explains.

"Ensure you change from the default password and don’t pick an obvious one like the baby’s name, your last name, or 'password,'" he adds. 

And if your baby monitor doesn't require a password to operate, he says, "get a new one!" 

Make sure your WiFi network is secure.

"The second area of security vulnerability is with the WiFi network itself," Foley explains. Make sure that the security is turned on, not "open" -- and, again, choose a super-secure password.

Use a wired Ethernet connectivity option if possible.

If your monitor allows you the option of using a wired connection, choose it, Foley says. This physical connection means the WiFi link will be out of the data path, which makes it very hard to get into the network. 

"However, that said, if the house still has WiFi which is bridged to the wired network, then plugging in is the same as using WiFi," he warns.

While knowing that there are people out there who want a sneak peek into your kid's room is nothing short of awful, it's comforting to hear that there are concrete steps you can take to keep these creeps out!
by on Mar. 22, 2016 at 9:15 PM
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Replies (1-6):
by Platinum Member on Mar. 22, 2016 at 9:37 PM
Nope. Not since 2008... PLUS, we rarely needed them and even turned it on since Sam was never the quiet type.
Only in summer or fall when we would go out on the patio or on the back deck would we ever use them
by on Mar. 22, 2016 at 9:39 PM
We have never used them. Our lil apartment is too small to need one.
by Bronze Member on Mar. 22, 2016 at 10:04 PM
No, I never used one with my three kids.
by Carissa on Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:03 AM
No, we only had the old fashioned sound ones anyway when we did. Our house only has one floor so we can hear our kids just fine ;)
by Group Admin on Mar. 23, 2016 at 5:32 PM
Yes but it's through our IPad/IPhones and my husband is a System administrator so he has all the security measures covered.
by Silver Member on Mar. 23, 2016 at 8:20 PM
I will admit we still have the monitor over Ben's bed. We still use it at night. Before recently Ben would wake up and just start talking. If I didn't go in and settle him, he could be awake all night. We also still have the baby gates at one end of each staircase (tri-level, so one at top of each) but those are for the dogs more than Ben at this point. But I do like knowing Ben can't be roaming the house though. And the drawer locks on, but I did tell DH we probably could remove those now...
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