Your baby monitor plays a vital role in caring for your newborn. You can be alerted instantly when your baby is hungry, needs changing, or wants to be rocked back to sleep. But with frequent news stories about hacked baby monitors, you may be leery about purchasing and using one. Keep reading for a detailed look at the most and least secure baby monitors, and to learn the best ways to secure your baby monitor.
Least Secure Baby Monitors
A number of baby monitors have vulnerabilities that make them less secure. A report from Rapid7 — a company that provides security data solutions — recommends avoiding several baby monitors, including these three.
- Philips In.Sight: Multiple models of the Philips In.Sight have security flaws. One of the primary issues causing concern is that hackers can fairly easily gain access to the In.Sight's Cloud streaming sessions.
- Gynoii: The Gynoii device is sent to parents with easy-to-guess, hard coded admin credentials that they can't change. Because hackers can simply access the website and guess the login information, the product is vulnerable to backdoor entry.
- TrendNet WiFi Baby Cam: TrendNet's WiFi Baby Cam is vulnerable to the same backdoor access as the Gynoii. Though this issue was publicized in 2012, the company has yet to secure its device — hackers can access and stream live baby monitor feeds.
While some of these companies have made an effort to increase the security and privacy of their monitors, it is important to take extra caution when purchasing these products.
Most Secure Baby Monitors
There are many well-equipped baby monitors to choose from, and I have highlighted three of the most secure below.
- Nest Cam: The Nest Cam baby monitor frustrated parents in 2015, but product improvements now prevent it from recording when it is turned off. The company also continually works to address security concerns so that parents and children remain safe and protected.
- iBaby M6T HD Wi-Fi Digital Baby Video Monitor: iBaby's Wi-Fi Digital Baby Monitor received some negative press due to Rapid7's findings. Since then, the brand has updated its encryption practices and issued a letter to assure parents that their information and video feeds are private and secure.
- Summer Infant Sharp View HD Baby Monitor : While the Rapid7 report listed one Summer Infant baby monitor, it's Sharp View HD Baby Monitor was free from security vulnerabilities — primarily because it does not connect to the Internet.
How to Secure Your Baby Monitor
Even if you purchase a baby monitor with high-security standards, take these four steps to make sure your monitor is as secure as possible.
- Register Your Monitor: The first thing you should do when you purchase your baby monitor is to register it. Registration ensures your baby monitor will receive the latest software and hardware updates — a key factor in keeping devices secure.
- Secure Your Network: Make sure your wireless router's security, encryption, and privacy settings are enabled. Your baby monitor has the same level of protection as your other household wireless devices.
- Create Strong Passwords: After you connect your baby monitor to your wireless Internet connection, make sure to update the monitor's default username and password. Choose something difficult to guess and write it down in a safe place. Remember to change the password once or twice a year to combat security risks.
- Disable Remote Access: Disable your baby monitor's remote viewing ability when you don't need it. This will make it harder for hackers to breach your device's security.
You can consult with a security professional for advice on any of these steps — it will help give you peace of mind knowing that your security and privacy settings are following the highest standards possible.
Though many parents have concerns about the security of baby monitors, you can help better monitor and protect your baby by purchasing one of the secure baby monitors above and maintaining high privacy settings.