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!

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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!" 

More from The Stir: 11 Tots Who Look So Creepy on Their Baby Monitors, You'll Swear They're Possessed (PHOTOS)


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.

More from The Stir: Baby Monitor Hackers' Creepy Website Is Full of Photos Inside Our Kids' Bedrooms

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!
 
 

Image via iStock.com/Jodi Jacobson

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