Who Else is Watching Your Baby?

by Alli

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?

Who's 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.

2.  Read the privacy policy.

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?








Robin Rue (@massholemommy) July 13, 2015 - 6:10 am

OMG, I had no idea this was a thing! That is so scary. Great tips to help people protect themselves and their babies.

Joanne T Ferguson July 13, 2015 - 6:11 am

Thanks Allie for highlighting this issue today! I would think as parents, this would be scary! I have seen and heard things where the monitors can be somehow hacked in! Who would think one would have to worry about a baby monitor and who else is listening, eh

AnneMarie LeBlanc July 13, 2015 - 7:33 am

What a horrible thing to do! Hack into baby monitors? Wow. Thank you for sharing this article. This is a good thing to let new parents know about. We really need to be vigilant about what we share in the internet.

R U S S July 13, 2015 - 7:44 am

Wow, that is scary. Just when we all want convenience and added security that we should enjoy from technology, here are ways that corporate servers can gather data about us and worse is they can share it. This is a wake-up call. I’m guilty of leaving stuff ‘connected’ but now, I know better.

Password protect and #4 are very very important.

Megan Elford July 13, 2015 - 7:46 am

Ugh, how scary! I think many times we are far too trusting with what we put out there. So many things are online now, and our collective wisdom still has to catch up with it. My husband is an IT guy, and he knows how to hack into most things. Of course he doesn’t, but it has really made me that much more aware of how much info I’m sharing online and on my computer.

Jeannette July 13, 2015 - 8:21 am

This is crazy scary to me! We’re almost out of the baby monitor phase but it sounds like that’s not the only thing to be wary of! I’m going to look into password protecting everything that I can in our home to keep our family’s privacy safe!

Zan July 13, 2015 - 9:54 am

So sick about those baby monitor unfamiliar voices! Ahhh….we don’t have one. We got one as a gift for our first daughter 4 years ago and quickly exchanged it for another baby item after using it for about 2 nights. The internet is never private about anything. People have hacked my emails and I have seen the shopping search item poo up everywhere – on every other site I visit and have wondered about that. Thanks for the info. This is great to know.

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle July 13, 2015 - 9:58 am

That is 100% super messed up and extremely scary. This is the double edged sword of technology. It’s more convenient, but you have to be obsessive about safety.

Christy Maurer July 13, 2015 - 10:17 am

That is just so creepy! How can people be so awful as to hack into a baby monitor! Technology is good, but can also be used for so much evil!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication July 13, 2015 - 10:23 am

This kind of stuff freaks me out! Not because I have anything to hide…just because you feel like you should be safe in your own home, ya know?

Carmen Perez (listen2mama) July 13, 2015 - 11:31 am

These are all fantastic tips. Thankfully I never needed a babysitter or nanny, but I have heard of some really scary stories.

Mykidsguide July 13, 2015 - 3:07 pm

Oh my gosh, this is really scary. I had no idea that this could really happen. These are very helpful tips.

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly July 13, 2015 - 3:34 pm

I saw a news documentary show that showed this in action and it is super scary, I shared that with all the moms I know as I don’t have kids. A strong home security system is vital and being careful about not broadcasting via wifi as well.

Kisa Johnson July 13, 2015 - 6:15 pm

I’ve heard about this happening before, and it’s so creepy! I’m glad we don’t have a video baby monitor, because.. yeah.. that kind of thing! Of course I would make sure I’d have everything passworded and such before using such a thing, but still…

Mistee Dawn July 13, 2015 - 6:50 pm

That is so scary! I had never read the news articles. Now it gives me the creeps. I never even used a baby monitor, so thank goodness for that. Thanks for the great tips. Definitely will keep them in mind.

lisa July 13, 2015 - 7:38 pm

That is so scary! I password protect everything and I am very wary of using my phone to control things at home. I don’t trust technology all the time!

Liz Mays July 13, 2015 - 8:57 pm

This really good to know. I worry about this with apps too when they ask for a bunch of permissions unrelated to the app itself.

ricci July 14, 2015 - 12:03 am

I am all about a good digital monitor but I never thought of people hacking into them and seeing you home and baby!! I need to tell my friends about this who use these types of monitors!!

Krystal July 14, 2015 - 1:11 am

I am starting to read the privacy policies on everything now. We are giving up a lot of our rights!

Jeanine July 14, 2015 - 8:13 am

So scary right? I had a video monitor and it freaked me out I got rid of it. Thankfully it wasn’t a monitor anyone could get into or anything, but still freaks me out.

Rosey July 14, 2015 - 10:33 am

My heart dropped reading it. What an awful, awful scary thing. It’s good to get the word out.

Michelle @ Dishes and Dust Bunnies July 14, 2015 - 11:22 am

These are all excellent tips and ideas for protecting your privacy with devices like these. We never had to buy a baby monitor since we live in such a small condo so that saved us some trouble right there!

Lynndee July 14, 2015 - 12:54 pm

That is really scary. I didn’t know they could actually hack a baby monitor. I never thought somebody would be interested to hack a baby monitor too. Like, seriously! That’s crazy!

Lauren R July 14, 2015 - 3:16 pm

Oh my goodness, this seriously freaked me out! We use an app to watch over our son, and now I don’t want to use it anymore!! How scary!

Uplifting Families July 14, 2015 - 3:16 pm

I know that my baby monitor has addressed this issue. This is scary though. I couldn’t imagine it.

CourtneyLynne July 14, 2015 - 3:42 pm

This is just all sorts of crazy scary to me!! So strange to think this is the kind of world we live in where people would actually want to do these kinds of things :-/

Winter White July 14, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Wow this just freaked me out! I never knew that this was even a thing! Technology makes our lives easier but it sure opens up a whole other can of worms

Erin July 14, 2015 - 5:39 pm

Oh my word, well I’m officially freaked out! I’m so glad my husband is so diligent about password protecting everything!

Bonnie @ wemake7 July 14, 2015 - 8:36 pm

I heard that those stories too. That is so scary! I have always worried about that ever since I heard that could happen.

Alyssa C July 15, 2015 - 10:09 am

This is so scary, I was just reading a story about it. Thankfully I never used baby monitors.

CollectiveFaith July 16, 2015 - 6:57 pm

Alli, We would love to see your great articles on http://www.CollectiveFaith.com. Please join and share with our Christian Social Network.

Jessica Simms July 16, 2015 - 10:04 pm

Oh wow this is kind of scary I didn’t realize someone could hack into your baby monitor and watch the feed. I will have to let my cousin know since she has one of these.

Kirsten July 18, 2015 - 4:35 pm

I had a home security camera system I considered setting up right before this was all over the news media. I still haven’t opened the box to see if it is password protected or how the who thing works, but it truly concerns me that I could be opening up our home to random people on the internet. Until they have a more secure service figured out, I think I’m going to take a pass. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

John French July 20, 2015 - 7:34 am

If you buy a house (that was recently occupied), you should change the locks. It amazes me how many people do not change default passwords on anything. Broadband routers, smartphones and W-Fi baby monitors. Easily done, but also easily not done as well.

Jen July 20, 2015 - 10:41 pm

Speaking of privacy, I just saw a product announcement for a camera MyFox) that physically closes when it’s disarmed to keep people from hacking in and watching you. But, it begs the question of won’t they be able to command it to open again?

It’s all pretty creepy, but if you set up good passwords and rotate them periodically you can drastically reduce your risk. Most of these exploits are of default credentials from the factory that people neglect to change.


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