A baby monitor is one of the most important tools you’ll first buy as a new parent. They offer a convenient way to keep tabs on your little one without you in the room, and keep your stress levels down by giving you a live view of your baby’s movements and breathing patterns as they sleep. Because of these important benefits, WiFi-enabled baby monitors have become more popular than ever. But as technology advances and the number of WiFi-connected devices on the market increases everyday, security vulnerabilities go up. This is because anything connected to WiFi provides a window to your online security and personal information—and the potential for cybercriminals to exploit you. Unfortunately, WiFi-connected baby monitors are no exception.
Baby monitor hacks are rare, but the risk remains so long as the device is connected to WiFi. Luckily, it’s not hard to make sure your baby monitor is as safe and secure as possible.
How do Baby Monitors Get Hacked?
A criminal’s motivation for hacking into a baby monitor isn’t always to spy on your baby—more often than not, it’s an attempt to find a viable entry point to your home network system in order to gain access to your personal data and information.
Whatever the motivation may be, understanding the strategies criminals use to hack into your baby monitor is an important step in keeping yours secure. Here are the main methods a cybercriminal might use:
- Unauthorized access to your router: All modern routers use Network Address Translation (NAT) to filter out unauthorized incoming traffic by default. Access to this port is the least likely to occur unless you’ve purposely changed the default settings to enable port forwarding..
- Remote access to your router: Similarly to how you can set up your baby monitor to be accessed over the internet, your router’s administration page can also be accessed through the internet or a wide area network. Remote router access is disabled by default, but you can view these settings on your router admin page under “remote setup” or “Allow Setup over WAN”.
- Local router access: This method is the same as remote router access, except it requires a WiFi password and being within physical range of your WiFi network.
As you can see, baby monitor security and home network security go hand in hand—and knowing the basics is essential for a more secure home.
Steps to a More Secure Baby Monitor
In a nutshell, the security risk of your baby monitor ultimately depends on the security of your wireless home network. There are just a few simple steps you should take to make sure you’re protected.
Secure Your Home Router
Securing your baby monitor starts with your home router. Make sure you do the following for maximum security:
- Always keep your router’s firmware updated
- Make sure remote router access is disabled in your router’s firmware settings (most routers already have this setting in place by default)
- Make sure you have a strong WiFi password that only you and your family know
Secure Your Baby Monitor
Once you’ve secured your home router, there are a few steps you can take on the actual baby monitor device to cover any potential loopholes a hacker could find.
- Change the default login credentials your baby monitor came with when you first purchased it, and make sure to use a strong username and password
- Always keep your baby monitor firmware updated: instructions for this are specific to the device you purchased, and are usually found in the instruction manual
- Register your baby monitor with the manufacturer: this way you’ll be notified if any security issues are discovered after the product has been released, and will receive software updates to fix them
While the thought of a baby monitor hack isn’t a pleasant one, it’s not difficult to make sure yours is as safe and secure as possible. To learn more about baby monitor security and get tips on how to shop for a safer monitor, check out the visual below!