Today’s new parents have more to worry about than child safety recalls and dirty diapers. A startling news story out of Texas suggests that baby video monitors can now be hacked with ease.
A hacker might be tapping into your signal, spying on your baby or even using the baby monitor to talk to the little tyke. While this isn’t necessarily a threat to your family’s personal information, nobody wants a stranger watching their kid sleep at night. Let’s review the facts on this disturbing new hacking trend and find out how you should secure your own baby monitor against a privacy breach.
A Texas Couple’s Baby Problem
Virtually any technology that can be hacked has already been exploited by someone, somewhere, and video-equipped baby monitors are no exception. But a week or so ago, a couple in Houston, TX faced a disturbing home security issue that wound up making headlines.
The family were enjoying the sight of their new baby slumbering soundly in the crib when they started to hear an unfamiliar voice over the baby monitor. The stranger, using the video feed to see the child’s name painted on the nursery wall, called out to her and said very lewd, disturbing things.
Best case scenario, the hacker was playing a sick prank on an innocent family. Worst case scenario, there were more sinister motivations at hand. By watching the nursery through the baby monitor’s video feed, the hacker could potentially learn information about the family’s habits that would be useful in a robbery or other crime.
Fortunately, this case appeared to be nothing more than a joke — not that anyone’s laughing. As Slate tells it:
“While the couple’s two-year-old daughter was asleep in her room, the parents hear the man call their daughter ‘an effing moron’ and a ‘little slut.'”
When the parents went into the nursery to investigate the voice, the hacker simply started making fun of them. The child’s father immediately pulled the plug. He later explained to the press that his daughter is hearing-impaired, so she slept through the whole ordeal undisturbed.
The Opposite of Security
While this Houston-based example might seem a little bizarre, it’s a scary reality for any new parent to think that some creepy stranger could be watching your new baby sleep. And as mentioned, this isn’t exactly a brand new occurrence.
In 2009, the makers of another baby monitor got slapped with a lawsuit by a man from Illinois who claimed that he and his neighbor were able to see each other’s kids sleeping.
While these baby monitors are supposed to be providing their owners with a sense of safety and security, they seem to be doing the exact opposite.
So, What Can You Do?
The baby monitor hacking issue is a tough nut to crack. It’s really up to the manufacturers to make sure their signals can’t be hacked.
Beyond doing your research, reading everything that comes with your new baby monitor, and buying a model that has a good reputation for security, there’s not much you can actually do to guard against clever hackers.
Do your due diligence and make sure you research thoroughly. Find a company that not only advertises high security standards, but that has a reputation for upholding them, as well. We also recommend calling their customer support hotline. For any product that affects your child, you’ll want the best response time and the most helpful representatives possible in case you ever encounter issues.
What do you think about this story? Do you have any tips for securing your baby? Share your thoughts in the comments.