electronics

IN THE NEWS: Your Baby Monitor Can Be Hacked

by Samantha on August 1, 2015

Who's listening to your baby? Parents urged to take precautions with monitor technology

 

monitor

Who’s listening to your baby?

Are you safe? Is your baby safe?

The intersection of technology and parenting continues to expand as we increasingly rely on digital tools to make our roles as parents easier. We use tech more than ever to live our daily lives, from watching our babies to entertaining them; from reading to our kids to monitoring them (texting and cell phones). It all seems great, right? Granted, the convenience provided by technology can’t be denied, but there is a dark side to its usage as well.

As hacking becomes more commonplace in our daily lives, the instances of our digital tools being compromised will also increase. We’ve seen a rise of incidents where personal information has been hacked via email, cell phones and cloud accounts, but did anyone really anticipate that baby monitors would be a target too?

It’s scary to think that our most precious assets could be open to being spied on, secretly viewed, spoken to by strangers, or worse.

I recently provided my thoughts on this disturbing trend in an interview on Global News. You can watch the full segment below. There are also some simple tips that parents can follow to make sure that their babies remain safe and secure.

What you do to avoid hacking via baby monitors or similar devices:

1) Educate Yourself - Make sure that you fully understand the technology that you’re using, especially in their children’s rooms.

2) Err on the Side of Caution - When in doubt, don’t. If you have any concerns or misgivings about the technology behind any particular device, don’t use it until you are sure about it’s security, or chose another option altogether.

3) Choose a Secure Password - Don’t make the password for your device too easy. Remember to use a login that is not easily-guessed, that is changed frequently, and that includes a non-sensical string of letters (both upper and lower case) and numbers. For more information on how to choose a secure password, visit this page: How to Create a Secure Password.

4) Limit the Use of Devices - The less amount of devices used to monitor our kids, the less likely hackers will be able to successfully gain access where they don’t belong.

Global News Segment - Baby Monitor Hacked!


 

What other tips do you have for parents who are concerned about being hacked? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

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We can’t live without it.

Technology is here to stay.

We love our iPads, iPhones, Android and other tablet devices. Texting is part of our everyday lives. We crave the Internet and feel disconnected whenever we’re away from the comfort of our virtual world. It’s clear that technology is here to stay and digital technology specifically is part and parcel of most of our lives, in one way or another.

This is particularly the case in the lives of our children. Kids today are so comfortable and so entrenched in the digital world that it’s hard for them to imagine a life without the technology that they’ve come to know and love. Between video and online games for younger kids to texting, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for older kids (often to the chagrin of their parents), there’s no way around it.

Tech is where it’s at. Imagine a world without Google. Mention this concept to a tween or teen and watch their eyes bug out in horror. Try telling your six-year-old that they’re cut off from using your iPad and you may experience a meltdown of monumental proportions.

The fact is that technology has permeated our kids lives in such a way that the thought of living without it is almost impossible to fathom.

But to what end?

As much as we love our gadgets and the Internet, one has to question the effect that both have had on our kids. While there’s no disputing the fact that digital technology has advanced our culture in so many ways, one has to wonder about its negative effects as well. Our kids accept technology as part of life, but as with everything, there are good and bad aspects to be considered.

For the many positive stories that exist about how technology has affected the lives of our kids, there are, unfortunately, an equal amount of stories about the dark side of the technological age. Our kids are being affected; it’s how they’re being affected that we need to consider.

So my question today is this: Has technology affected our kids for better or for worse? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below!

Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!


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My daughter Miranda is a tech-savvy son of a gun.

The kid is good - really good.

She can wield an iPod like no one else.

“Daddy, can I play on your iPod?,” she often says to her father. He almost always says “yes.”

I then hear “YES!,” “DARN IT!,” and other exclamations in rising intensity from this very busy young lady.

“What are you doing, Sweetie?,” I say.

“Playing on Daddy’s iPod and trying to beat it!”

Kids and technology.

These days, the two go hand-in-hand. Never has there been a time where children were more technologically-inclined or comfortable, for that matter. As our world has changed over the past twenty years, so have the everyday items that we take for granted. Many of these have a technological bent. From operating the PVR to the DVD player to the various household appliances and gadget, we are raising generation that not only is comfortable with technology, but one that wholeheartedly embraces it as well.

Our kids are well-versed in the multitudes of technology that have become commonplace. It’s not unheard of for the young - the very young - to show the digital ropes to the older generation. Oftentimes, kids are more savvy than their grandparents.

Yet I find myself questioning whether we have really advanced because of technology. Of course it has made our lives a lot easier than earlier times, but there is something to be said for “kickin’ it old school” - that is - entertaining your children the old-fashioned way.

Some of my best childhood memories include playing Monopoly or Crazy Eights around the table with my family. I find myself reminiscing the days when it was a thrill to learn that The Wizard of Oz was going to be on TV in a week. With great anticipation, I would wait for the day with baited breath, planning the evening with my mother, down to the last snack detail. There was something magical about the wait, knowing that in a few days, the “event” would occur. The waiting added to the thrill.

With DVRs the standard now, there is no longer any need to plan anything, at least as far as watching movies on TV goes. Movies and television on demand are how we do things now,  and with these conveniences, the thrill and anticipation is gone.

Which brings us back to the point of this post: technology and children.  I embrace technology and what it has afforded my life in the past few years. I really embrace technology when I am able to calm a screaming child by popping a DVD into the DVD player or watching a kids video on Youtube. And while doing both of these things, I am at once conflicted. I’m thrilled about the immediate results (e.g. distracted and entertained children) and saddened by the loss of more interactive methods of relating to my kids. Oh yes, there is also the guilt about using technology to make things easier as a parent.

So my questions today center around technology and your use of it with your kids:

Are your kids tech-savvy?

Do you use technology often in order to assist you in parenting?

Do you feel guilty about the amount of technology you use with your kids?


Would you welcome a return to a less technology-focused time in order to have more “quality time” with your children?

I look forward to your comments!

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