I was appalled when I read an article about a nanny in Houston who heard an unfamiliar voice coming from a two-way baby monitor. The voice said, “that’s really a poopy diaper,” then warned her to password-protect the camera. I can only imagine the nanny’s reaction.
One couple heard a voice shouting from the baby’s monitor, “Wake up, baby, wake up.” When they rushed into the nursery, the camera lens turned towards them and the hacker began shouting at the parents.
Last fall, officials in the UK warned that live feeds from baby monitors AND home security cameras from around the world were accessible to the public on the internet. From what I’ve read, it’s still going on. How sick is that! Who else is watching your baby?
And that’s not all . . .
Upscale versions of thermostats, refrigerators, light switches, TV’s, door locks, activity trackers, etc. that connect to the Internet and can be controlled through an app on your phone, computer or tablet are very convenient. What’s the tradeoff? These devices can also send personal data to corporate servers, where it’s saved and shared. Even some of the new and improved slow cookers send data from your home to corporate servers.
Following our activities is nothing new. Websites and smartphones have been doing it for a long time. It still freaks me out a little when I visit a website to do a little online shopping and all of a sudden the very item I was looking at is everywhere, including my FB feed, thanks to cookies. But it has now invaded our private spaces inside our homes including our kitchen and the baby’s nursery.
I searched the web to find the best ways to avoid being tracked in your own home.
1. Password protect anything that collects personal data.
Please make sure your baby monitor is password protected with a strong, complex password. An unprotected camera is worse than no camera at all.
3. Find the “off” toggle in the settings menu on your smart device.
On smart TVs, you can switch off voice control and “interactive” functions. If anything looks suspicious, turn it off. You can always turn it back on later if you find you actually need it.
4. Don’t leave connected devices on when you’re not using them.
Turn off the baby monitor when you’re not using it.
It’s a scary thought that hackers can and will hack their way into personal devices that are connected to the internet. How do you protect your personal information?