Most parents think they are doing the right thing when they set up a video monitor in their baby’s room. It’s comforting to be able to see our babies sleeping peacefully and it reduces the risk of waking them up because we don’t have to open the door to take a peak.
However we’re now being warned that these devices can be accessed by strangers. They are pretty much a live feed from your child’s room to whoever wishes to access it. Most are on a fixed frequency that can be accessed by anyone who turns one on.
New mum Alison Lyndsay was shocked when she turned on her new video monitor when she saw her next door neighbour’s baby boy instead of her own baby girl. Both systems are on the same video frequency. “You know they don’t come with any warnings and it never crossed my mind,” she said.
She went next door to warn mum Stacey Cass who was shocked. “How many times I must have walked in there not dressed appropriately never thinking for a second that anybody else could see what was going on in our home. It’s beyond creepy.”
Think of what else you do in that room while the video monitor is on? Did you change your child, breastfeed them, did other children spend time in the room?
An ABC News team decided to test this theory. They connected a video monitor up in their car and drove around the neighbourhood. What they saw was feeds from multiple devices.
“Most video monitors don’t have security features,” Angelos D. Keromytis, associate professor of computer science at Columbia University in New York City, told ABC News.
Even traditional baby monitors and cordless phone cause a risk with people intentionally or inadvertently listening in.
Here’s how to keep your home safe:
* Devices that connect to your home WiFi are safest, but you have to check the settings.
* You need to find out if your WiFi uses the safest protocols. It needs to be a WPA2 security standard so call your provider and check.
* WiFi models such as WEP are easier to hack.
What kind of monitor do you use in your baby's room?