Baby Monitor Hacked: Wi-Fi Password to Blame

Aug 14, 2013

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baby monitorLauren and Marc Gilbert of Texas were startled one recent evening to hear someone speaking in their sleeping 2-year-old daughter's room. When they approached, they realized the voice was coming out of their web cam/baby monitor. They were sickened to hear a man cursing. He also said sexually-explicit things to their sleeping child. Worse still, the perpetrator called the toddler by name and told her to wake up.

Shockingly, a hacker had connected to the family's Wi-Fi network and had commandeered the webcam. In this case, hacking into a webcam is much like breaking into a website. Almost any device connected to Wi-Fi or the Internet is a candidate for hackers.

If there is no password on the Wi-Fi network, or if the password is weak, it can be compromised.

What should parents do?

  1. Make sure you have a Wi-Fi password on your home network - don't leave it "open" to anyone
  2. Use a password that is long and complex; don't use common words, kids names, or other easy-to-guess passwords.  
  3. To be specific, use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) to set up a password; these are better encrypted and difficult to hack.
  4. Realize that kids will give their friends the Wi-Fi password; for this reason, parents should enable their children's devices on the Wi-Fi network, but don't tell the child the password

Our digital world can be complex and potentially dangerous. Parents need to take a few precautions to protect kids. Most importantly, it's important to be vigilant and monitor what kids do.

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.