How to protect baby monitors from intruders

All smart home devices can be hacked. But securing your home WiFi makes it difficult for strangers to access it.

There are many devices, devices, and other smart home gadgets that people use to make life easier. But with users connecting each additional device to their home WiFi, it also becomes easy for hackers to take advantage of potential vulnerabilities.

The popular Utah blogger’s Instagram stories went viral last week when she described the horror of a stranger gaining access to her young child’s monitor. Isabel Becker wrote in her beloved account of how she and her husband do not understand why their son, who was usually a good sleeper, is so afraid and suffers from night terrors.

One night, she heard a man talking to her son in a distorted voice across the screen. I separated him immediately and got rid of him. After Baker shared her story, she wrote that she was overwhelmed with messages from others; Many have had similar experiences with baby monitors.

Research firm Bitdefender has already reported vulnerabilities in at least two baby monitors in the past two months, including the Wyze camera used by Becker. Looking at the first version of the Wyze Camera, Bitdefender found that an attacker could access the camera feed. Wyze discontinued this release in January. He told customers that the camera would not receive necessary security updates, but did not explain the specific risk that hackers could gain access to the camera. Bitdefender reports that versions 2 and 3 of the camera do not have the same vulnerability.

Bitdefender contacted Wyze three years ago about a potential privacy issue. But neither company released any specifics to the public until last week when Wyze released a blog post urging Wyze Cam v1 customers to stop using it.

Users may have a problem with why Wyze – or Bitdefender for that matter – has waited three years to release information. The Wyze community forum on the vulnerability is full of debate about whether the vulnerability is too big a problem. Some commenters have tried to make hacking not happen often because someone would need to access a home Wi-Fi network (via a router) to access the screen.

But security company Avast reports that a router hack can happen to anyone and can cause severe damage. If a hacker gains access to a network, they can not only spy through connected cameras (such as baby monitors), but they can also change passwords and get a peek into sensitive files.

The key to keeping smart home devices safe is to make sure your home router is as impenetrable as possible.

First, use strong passwords and change them regularly. There are two passwords on the router. One password for device settings and the second for connecting other devices to the network. Users should be sure to change both passwords from their default settings to long and complex passwords. Experts recommend changing these passwords every three months or so.

Make sure the firmware is up to date and enable automatic updates if available. Consumer Reports has specific instructions on how to turn on automatic updates for routers. Some modern routers make the process easier with apps, but older ones require more effort. Users may need to find the device’s IP address using the router’s model number to learn how to set up automatic updates. The blogger who had her baby monitor hacked discovered her router firmware was not updated.

Change the name of the WiFi network. Virtual network names often include details about the make and model of the router. Such information can make it easier for a hacker to know how to get in. Also, completely hide the network if this is an option, so that it does not appear on other people’s devices as a network available to join.

And remember that any time users log into a WiFi network other than the secure network in their home, it gives hackers another chance. So if users can avoid checking the baby monitor while they are not at home, they should. Parents should also try to reduce the number of people who have access to the cameras. While it may be information that moms and dads want to share with a nanny or grandparents, they should take care to only open this app when connected to a secure network.

Not only can these router security measures help keep your baby monitor out of the prying eyes and ears of strangers, they can also protect every connected device in your home. With more and more devices in homes contributing to the Internet of Things, users must take every precaution available to keep hackers at bay.

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