How to protect your baby monitor from hackers

Kristine Tarbert

Every parent will agree that protecting your family is one of the most important things.

So finding out that cyber hackers could spy on you and your little ones using modern baby monitors is not ok.

Just last week a young Perth mother spoke of how she believes hackers have used a baby monitor to spy on her and her young daughter.

Katie McMurray revealed how she saw her camera move on it’s own while she was in her three-month-old daughter's room.

Could our baby monitor be hacked? Photo: Getty

And she’s not alone with more reports emerging this week - including a Sydney mother - of monitors being attacked by hackers due to their connection to the internet.

Where in the past monitors were nothing more than a radio transmitter with a limited range, the introduction of smartphone apps to help you keep an eye on your baby has revealed a dark side to being that connected.

Old radio transmitter baby monitors only had a limited range. Photo: Getty

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Many monitors weren’t really designed with security in mind and so they can be hacked by anyone from voyeurs, pranksters and even criminals.

Luckily Lifewire has shared some things you can do to prevent your baby monitor from being hacked.

Update The Baby Monitor’s Firmware
First up check the manufacturer’s website for updated firmware (the software built into the camera’s hardware that runs everything). They may have already fixed any security issues or other bugs and you should always make sure you have the most up-to-date software.

Make sure you have the most up-to-date software. Photo: Getty

Create a Strong Password For The Camera Log In
Don’t ever leave anything on the default setting. As soon as you install the camera change the username and password – a strong one as this is the easiest way for hackers to ‘break in’.

Set it to Local Network Only
It is worth to consider if it’s really worth running your baby monitor in the ‘internet-connected mode’ or if you just use the local network. The local network will reduce the risk of being hacked remotely. Check the “local only set up” instructions on your baby monitor's manufacturer’s website.

Protect your family from hackers. Photo: Getty

Secure Your Home Network and Wireless Router
Of course you also want to make sure hackers can’t crack into your home network, so check your wifi and router settings and make sure they are also password protected.

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