Smart cameras and baby monitors can easily be accessed by criminals, experts have warned parents!
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is advising people to check the settings after buying a similar device to ensure that it cannot be accessed by hackers. If your password is default, simple, or the same as other devices that have potentially been compromised, your baby camera or smart camera is more vulnerable to hackers accessing it and breaching your privacy.
The NCSC’s technical director, Dr Ian Levy has warned that while the devices are “fantastic innovations”, they are also really vulnerable to hacking by unscrupulous people with bad intentions…
The BBC has shared some examples to highlight this issue:
- In one incident, the attacker spoke to a young girl, pretending to be Santa!
- A couple from Leeds had been watched thousands of times online without their knowledge or permission.
- Security researchers easily breached an adult toy that had a camera attached in 2017.
The new expert advice for owners of smart cameras and video baby monitors suggests three steps:
- Change the default password (usually something very simple) to something complex.
- Keep the camera’s software (sometimes called firmware) updated regularly.
- Switch off features that let you check the cameras remotely (out of the home) if you don’t need or use it regularly.
Due to these products being mass produced and sold relatively cheaply, unfortunately device security is often an afterthought leading to them being easily compromised, so please take note of this information! ‘Which?’ also backs this new guidance, and feels that strong enforcement is needed to keep consumers safe. No one wants to be watched by a creepy stranger, nor does anyone want their little one being spied on!
We hope that this helps!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx