The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has recently issued a warning over camera baby monitors, saying that outsiders can easily hack them. Understandably, this is hugely alarming for parents – but what can you do to protect your smart tech?
The solution isn’t to bin all smart cameras and baby monitors altogether. Far from it, the right technology can help to protect your family and keep your nursery secure. All it takes are a few common-sense security measures and the right devices.
Say goodbye to default passwords
The first thing to do to secure your nursery is to change your password. Many baby monitors and smart cameras have a default password, and hardly anyone bothers changing them. Lazy or default passwords like ‘1234’ and ‘password1’ are what hackers rely on. Change it to something difficult to guess, containing lots of numbers and symbols, and you’ll create an extra layer of defence.
Upgrade your devices
According to the BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera, reporting on the recent baby monitor hack warning:
“One of the problems is the companies making these devices often try to make them cheap and fast to capture the new market - and security is often an afterthought if it is thought about at all.”
If you love the features of baby monitor tech but are concerned about security, the solution could be to upgrade. Spend a little more on a high-spec model which scores well on security.
Alternatively, you could go for a high-quality surveillance camera instead. The DAB radio camera, for example, can live stream video and audio to a smartphone anywhere in the world, so even if you're away, you can keep an eye on the baby.
You can view and control the CCTV camera from a handy Windows widget tool, and a microphone provides clear audio. What’s more, the Dome Camera is portable. This means that when your little one starts to crawl, toddle and walk – you can move it from room to room and do your best to keep up!
Get a ‘Nanny Cam’
The other security issue to consider in relation to the nursery is babysitters. It can be so difficult to trust a new person around your children, so it’s only natural to worry until you get to know your new childminder. You can put your mind at ease with a nanny cam.
It’s up to you whether or not you tell the person that you’re filming. It is legal to film in your own home, provided you don’t put cameras where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, for example, in the bathroom. You also can’t share, sell or give away the footage.
If you choose to film secretly, there is always the risk that your childminder will find out. This can destroy the trusting relationship you’ve built up.
Collecting only the relevant data is essential if you choose to monitor the nursery openly or covertly. Sometimes the audio is enough. The Teddy bear voice activated recorder could be the ideal tool for that. It’s discreet, out of the way and collects perfect audio with long standby times. If you just want to keep an ear on things or have suspicions about your babysitter’s conduct, this cleverly disguised full audio recorder will be invaluable.