Nine baby monitor models were tested for security vulnerabilities by a security firm. This is in light of recent hacking of baby monitors that have left parents mortified after hearing strangers talking to their babies in the middle of the night, while sleeping, via their baby monitor. The results will leave more parents horrified because none of the baby monitors passed the test.
The vulnerability of these Internet-connected baby monitors is alarming and will likely leave parents even more horrified. Unless something is done about it.
A large network of networks linking millions of electronic devices across the world, the Internet can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how much security you have.
When Internet-connected baby monitor devices were introduced, with a plethora of fantastic features, most of us were probably excited to know that looking after our baby’s safety could be done using our smartphones.
Technology indeed has its perks and keeps making our lives easier and simpler. But have we stopped to think about our privacy’s safety?
Your Family’s Safety
When you bought your first baby monitor, I’m sure you had nothing in mind but safety. You’re probably thinking is it okay to leave your baby alone in their room.
Being able to monitor your sleeping child remotely guarantees you peace of mind, not to mention having extra time for other tasks.
The baby monitor’s basic functionality only includes an audio feature to enable parents to hear their child when he is feeling uncomfortable as he sleeps in the other room. Simple.
Then the talkback feature was added so parents can talk to their baby and sing him a lullaby even if they are away. Sounds simple still.
Then came a multitude of new astounding features that got introduced to us one after the other. Most of these features promote safety and convenience, so there’s no harm in that.
How reassuring is it to watch your baby’s chest rise and fall as he sleeps peacefully? How convenient is it to keep watch of the nursery room from your own bedroom? How awesome is it to still keep an eye on him while you’re out taking care of business?
But what if the very weapon you have against harm is the one that brings terror right into your home?
When parents reported the horror of hearing someone telling their baby horrible things in the middle of the night, most of us were forced to think: how safe is my baby monitor?
Wi-Fi Baby Monitors
As we all know, the Wi-Fi baby monitors are packed with a handful of basic and modern features that include remote camera controls, 2-way talkback, night lights, lullabies, sound-sensitive microphones, crisp video and audio transmission, sound-activated multiple camera monitors and a lot more. These features are enough to entice a parent to take one home.
With the invasion of privacy incidents, it’s easy to think that manufacturers will upgrade their security features to keep these unwanted ‘visitors’ away. Unfortunately, the results of the tests prove otherwise.
The vulnerability of these Wi-Fi baby monitors comes from a very simple loophole in the manufacturing- the feeds float around the Internet without encryption, leaving consumers unaware of its dangers.
This leaves us with the question, “How do we know it’s safe?”
Security and Encryption
For consumers whose knowledge in technology is limited, security features might be a mystery. This leaves plenty of room for crooks to take advantage of the vulnerability of these devices and secure for themselves access to thousands of homes.
Encryption is our best bet to hide against these crooks. With the Wi-Fi baby monitors lacking, though not entirely, priority on this feature, the terror of being invaded continues to lurk just around the corner.
They’re “crazily easy to hack” without encryption that is beyond what most consumers can ultimately do- change the default passwords.
Yes, changing default passwords will not guarantee an impenetrable system- some of these devices possess complex encryption systems that an ordinary non-techie parent would never have thought to learn.
So until these giant companies make this any less complex to understand, most of us will be stuck either in the face of danger or in hiring tech experts (that will cost us more)to do the security encryption for us. The second is not convenient and practical because baby monitors should have included this in their security features.
Modern Vs Basic
In this modern world, it’s easier to keep up than stay in the dark. Unless we want to be overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
At least with baby monitors, I’m quite certain. While most of us embrace the changes, sometimes it’s better to weigh how much more beneficial it is to do so or to stay put.
If the core functionality is preserved and made so much better for that matter, staying put might be the smartest decision. Baby monitors are there to give parents peace of mind when their baby sleeps or naps, and that’s exactly what they do.
Except now they offer so much more. With overflowing new features, can we be ensured that the most essential feature is intact and not neglected at any cost?
Most basic baby monitors on the market will give you exactly what you need- a baby monitor. No complex features to learn, no apps to install, no extra functionalities that may compromise the core functionality.
That’s not too bad, is it? But for some, these basic functionalities just aren’t enough. Which is true. They don’t offer the convenience that the modern feature-rich baby monitors on the market do. Thus, it’s understandable why most parents prefer the modern ones.
Making A Choice
In the end, the choice is still ours to make. When we weigh our options carefully, it shouldn’t be that complicated. But then, in guaranteeing the safety, security and privacy of our families, there is a very small margin of error allowed.
I would gladly recommend the basic baby monitors inasmuch as I highly think the core functionality matters most, but that’s just me. For first time baby monitor users, it is still best to determine how much complexity you can handle, before making the purchase.