By Sophie Isbell
A baby monitor is one of the first tech tools you add to your nursery as a new parent, and arguably one of the most important. Aside from a convenient way to keep your eyes on your little one, they can also be useful in teaching babies to self-calm and they keep your nerves at bay by monitoring your baby’s movements and breathing while they sleep. All important benefits, especially as a new (and most likely sleep deprived) parent.
Because of these benefits, WiFi-enabled baby monitors have become increasingly popular—especially with the constant developments in technology that bring newer and better tech tools to the market everyday.
However, advancements in technology and the growing number of WiFi connected devices also brings an increase in security vulnerabilities. If something is connected to WiFi, it’s a shiny opportunity for hackers and cybercriminals to find an entry point to your personal information and data—baby monitors included.
While baby monitor hacks aren’t incredibly common, the risk is still there if you use a WiFi connected monitor. Most parents don’t realize that these kinds of devices work in the same way your home computer does, and aren’t aware of the potential harm they can cause when it comes to security. Luckily, it’s not difficult to ensure you have a properly secured baby monitor, and the steps to securing aren’t much different from basic home network security.
How do Baby Monitors Get Hacked?
A majority of the time, someone who wants to hack into a baby monitor is looking for an entrance to your other WiFi connected devices rather than wanting to spy on your baby. Regardless of motive, it’s important to understand how baby monitors get hacked in the first place.
- Accessing your router via internet: All home network routers use Network Address Translation (NAT) to automatically redirect any unauthorized traffic. A hacker is least likely to gain access by this method unless you’ve changed the default settings to enable and authorize all incoming traffic.
- Remote router access: Just like a baby monitor is set up to be accessed and controlled via the internet, your router can be accessed in the same way. Remote access to your router is automatically disabled, but you should view your router settings just to be safe.
- Local router access: This functions in the same way as remote router access, except that the criminal would need to be within physical range of your WiFi network and have access to your WiFi password.
The points above make it clear that securing your baby monitor goes hand in hand with the security of your home network. If you’re using a WiFi connected baby monitor, take care to review the ways hackers can attempt to gain access to it and review your home network security settings to make sure they’re set to the appropriate settings.
To learn more about baby monitor security and how you can shop for a more secure monitor, the infographic below goes into everything you need to know to keep you and your baby safe!
Sophie writes on behalf of Panda Security covering cybersecurity and online safety best practices for consumers and families. Specifically, she is interested in removing the barriers of complicated cybersecurity topics and teaching data security in a way that is accessible to all.