Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Infant Monitor Safe
Published: . Baby Keep track of Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Infant Monitor Safe. (Boulder, CO). Here are five simple tips to keeping your baby monitor safe.
The headlines are frightening:
‘I’m in your baby’s room’: A hacker overtook a baby monitor and broadcast dangers, parents say!
S. Chemical. Mom Says Baby Monitor Was Hacked; Experts Say Many Gadgets Are Vulnerable
Terror within the nursery: Baby monitor hacked
Ok, deep breath! Let’s talk keeping your baby monitor safe. First, realize that every few months there is a baby monitor freakout—this has been happening like clockwork considering that baby monitors first became some thing in the 1990’s.
Baby monitor hacking stories are tailor-made to go viral on social media and your local TV news. Here are the basic ingredients:
• Sweet baby.
• Terrified mom and dad who just want to warn others.
• Technology gone bad. ( See Gromit, Wallace and).
Therefore let’s talk about keeping your baby room safe. Here are our five tips to keep your baby monitor safe:
1 . Use a “closed system” baby video monitor.
The most r ecent hack discussed in the Wa Post was a loading monitor—a monitor that streams audio and video online. While streaming monitors are amazing to monitor your nursery from anywhere you have a cell signal, a more protected option is the closed baby monitor.
A closed movie monitor like the one we recommend on our site (the Infant Optics DXR-8 ) does not stream anything online. We call it “closed” because the camera pairs using the receiver and that’s it. Which pairing is via a secure system called Frequency Hopping Distribute Spectrum (FHSS). Without having getting all techie, FHSS helps it be more difficult for a hacker to find the signal.
Note we stated “more difficult”—more difficult does not mean “impossible. ” But here’s the good part—closed system monitors have very limited variety. While the stated range may be 1000 feet, ask anyone who has a video child monitor if it really goes that far… and there will be fun. That makes it harder for a hacker too. Hence, even if he had the tools to hack a closed system keep track of, the hacker would have to literally become standing next to your house or condo to hack it.
2 . Don’t re-use old passwords.
If you get a streaming monitor like Nest, register the device with a strong password you’ve never used prior to . That is the lesson from the latest baby monitor crack story that involved a Home streaming cam.
The parents in this case reused a password that was vulnerable after it was stolen from another site which was breached.
How do you know if a password you’ve used prior to might have been stolen? Pwned Passwords lets you search a password to see if it has been part of a past breach. The take-home message: even if you think your password is a clever combination of your high school english teacher’s last name, your best dog’s name and the date of the birthday, it could still be vulnerable in case you used it on a site that was breached.
3. Allow two-factor authentication.
If you have a Nest cam, enable two-factor authentication by following these instructions. This is an extra layer of security that is worth it, in our opinion. To be able to sign in to your account, a person has to have a particular code that is sent via text message to a phone you specify. So even if a hacker gets your own user name and password, they still can’t log into your account with out that code—and since you have your cell phone and they don’t, your baby monitor is secure.
4. Change the default password.
There are many sketchy baby monitors sold online that have all kinds of security vulnerabilities. Some are as simple because default usernames and passwords that parents don’t take time to change (easy fix: just change it! ).
Other vulnerabilities are more complex—without going full geek, let’s just say when these monitors are usually connected to your home WiFi network, they will accidently create backdoor access that not only allows hackers to control the infant monitor, but possibly other products also connected to your network.
In 2015, security firm Rapid 7 wrote an entire report on baby monitor security weaknesses . It is eye-opening. The lack of safeguards is apparent in many of the most recent hacks . The take-home message: stay with name brands like Nest that will take security seriously.
While you’re at it, take the appropriate steps to beef up your WiFi system. If you are using an old router, consider updating to a new one that offers WPA2 level encryption .
If you have a job which might allow you to a target for hackers, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) at home. A VPN encrypts all your traffic, which makes hacking your baby monitor (or other device in your house) much more difficult.
5. Go traditional with an audio baby monitor.
Perhaps the only way to make sure no one can peer into your house is to NOT have a camera in there in the first place. The old school audio baby monitor doesn’t stream pictures or audio of you or even your baby online. Instead, it merely transmits sound from the base unit to the monitor, like the closed monitor units we discussed above. We all recommend the greatest audio baby monitors here .
Got any ways to share with our readers on maintaining your baby monitor secure? Please post a comment below! Thanks in advance!
Image credits: CBS TELEVISION STUDIOS News, newyork. cbslocal. com, howtogeek. com.
Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Child Monitor Safe