Parents now have more technology-based tools than ever before to assist them in caring for their children. However, as modern technology advances, the possibility of hacking and security flaws increases. Cybercriminals may access your data through anything that is connected to the internet, which regrettably includes baby monitors.
While baby monitor intrusions are uncommon, if you utilise a WiFi-enabled monitor, you are still at risk of being hacked. Read on to find out everything you need to know about baby monitor security and how you can keep yours safe.
How Hackers Access Baby Monitors
From voice-activated lights to WiFi-controlled coffee makers and WiFi-connected baby monitors, today’s constantly growing technology has made our homes smarter. Unfortunately, anything connected to the internet, even baby monitors, is an open window into your privacy.
While there has been reports of WiFi monitors being hacked and infants being seen, hackers are more likely searching for a way into your other WiFi-connected devices than gaining control of your baby monitor.
Unauthorized internet access to your router: By default, all contemporary routers filter out unauthorised incoming traffic using Network Address Translation (NAT). Unless you’ve specifically altered the default settings to enable port forwarding, access to this port is unlikely.
Remote access to your router: In the same way that you can set up your baby monitor to be accessible over the internet, you can also access your router’s administrative page over the internet or a wide area network. By default, remote router access is disabled, however you can see these options on your router admin page under “remote setup” or “Allow Setup over WAN.”
Local access to your router is similar to remote access to your router, except that a hacker must be within physical range of your Wi-Fi network and know your Wi-Fi password, or be able to plug directly into your router through an Ethernet connection.
As you can see, the security of your baby monitor is linked to the security of your home wireless network. WiFi-enabled baby monitors have the same security concerns as any other device linked to your WiFi network.
Baby Monitor Safety Checklist:-
There are a few easy measures you can take to guarantee your home network and baby monitor are safe from hackers.
1. Keeping Your Wireless Router Protected
Whether you have a baby monitor or not, this is a vital security step. Ensure remote router access is disabled if you modified the default option, and that you have a strong WiFi password. Never leave your WiFi network unprotected; having it password protected greatly decreases the chances of a hacker obtaining access.
2. Keep Your Baby Monitor’s Password Strong
Being careful to update the default login information and setting a secure password is the first line of defence in safeguarding your baby monitor. Make sure your passwords are complex containing alphanumeric and special characters.
3. Update the Firmware for Your Monitor’s Camera:
Keeping your baby monitor’s camera up to date with firmware upgrades is an easy method to keep it secure. The methods for updating the firmware on your camera will vary depending on the monitor brand.
4. Disable DDNS and Port Forwarding or UPnP:
Disable DDNS on your monitor’s camera, as well as port forwarding and UPnP, if applicable. This will vary depending on the product you purchased and can be changed in the settings.
5. Register Your Monitor:
Staying on top of any new security upgrades needs registering your monitor with the device maker. If a device’s security flaws are identified after it’s been issued, the manufacturer may issue a recall or send software updates to address the problem—but you won’t know about it unless you’ve registered the product and are in touch with the business.
6. Disable Remote Access to Your Monitor’s Camera:-
Many baby monitors these days allow you to view them remotely through the internet. This is the function that allows you to watch your kid while you’re away from home or out of town. While this is handy, it is not advised in terms of security.
When you give your baby monitor internet connection, you remove many of the normal hurdles that a hacker would have to overcome in order to infiltrate it. Unless you deactivate remote access, the remote access password you created is all that stands between a hacker and the monitor. It’s preferable to just turn it off to be as safe as possible.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Secure Monitor?
Baby monitors come in a variety of styles with varying degrees of security and usefulness. The sort of monitor you select will be determined by your desired level of privacy and security, and they are divided into a few categories.
- Analogue Baby Monitors
Analogue Baby Monitors may not be as secure. For instance, if someone in close proximity is using a device that operates on the same frequency as your analogue monitor, they may be able to receive your audio and video (or vice versa.) However, if you reside in a remote region distant from people and sources of interference, the security hazards of analogue monitors can be minimised.
However, they may not be as secure—if someone in close proximity is using a device that operates on the same frequency as your analogue monitor, they may be able to receive your audio and video (or vice versa.)
- Digital Baby Monitors
Digital monitors communicate audio and visual frequencies as discrete values through a digital transmission (rather than the continuous shape of analogue radio waves.) Because digital signals may be encrypted, even if someone uses a device on the same frequency as your display, they won’t be able to see or hear what the monitor is transmitting.
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) is a technique used by certain digital monitors to automatically swap transmissions to avoid eavesdropping. Search for FHSS enabled monitors to discover baby monitors with this functionality.
- WiFi and Internet-Connected Baby Monitors:-
WiFi-enabled baby monitors are the most common option nowadays since they work with most smartphones and laptops and have an infinite range as long as you’re receiving device or phone is connected to the internet. WiFi baby monitors, as previously stated, are vulnerable to hackers if your network is insecure or if a hacker discovers a means to overcome your credentials.
Different product types may also have their own firmware, which may have flaws or be in need of automated updates. If a hacker can compromise a particular monitor model, they may be able to get access to every device in that product line.
If you’re searching for a WiFi-enabled baby monitor, pick one that enables you to alter the password and has automatic software upgrades. You’ll also need to keep an eye on the security of your home wireless network, as these monitors rely on it to work.
Every family has unique requirements, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to baby monitors. What’s important is that you take your time in learning the differences between each monitor, and are aware of the security implications before you make a decision. It’s a good idea to use a home antivirus to keep your WiFi and gadgets secure if you want to take your home network security a step further.