Factfinder12: How to stop baby monitor spying

Published On: Sep 27 2013 11:42:49 AM CDT

Imagine a stranger not only spying on your child, but talking to them too.  It happened to a Houston dad.  He heard a man yelling at his little girl through her baby monitor.  Marc Gilbert says he used internet cameras as a baby monitor to watch his kids in their rooms.

"It felt like somebody broke into our house,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert believes a hacker got access to this internet-based baby monitor that sits in his daughter's room.  He says someone hacked his router and the camera... allowing them to taunt his toddler through the camera's speakers.

"He said, 'wake up, Allyson, you little (expletive),’” Gilbert said.

Factfinder12 sat down with Cybertron International's Bill Ramsey for some advice on securing your internet-based baby monitor.

“You should always change default user names and passwords on any device that you buy,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey says change the passwords on your router and the device itself.  And don't use a word out of the dictionary--make it hard.

"If your baby monitor is a wireless baby monitor, then you really need to set-up a very strong encryption for it to talk to the wireless router,” Ramsey said.

Finally, if your baby monitor is connected to a website, make sure you set-up a strong password on that site too.

While internet-based baby monitors can give you access to your child's room from anywhere, Ramsey says you don't want just anyone to have that kind of access too.

"There are some inherent security risks that come along with that and this is demonstrating that very well.  Somebody being able to see and talk to your baby.  Wow, that's like somebody standing in the window,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey says a hacker could break into a monitor through your router, the device, or the device's website... if it has one.  That's why it's important to protect all three of those areas with strong passwords.  We also asked how a hacker could find internet-based baby monitors.  Ramsey says hackers often drive around looking for open wireless networks.  So make sure yours is locked.  Also, they can try to hack a website to get access.