Could your baby monitor be hacked?

  • 03/02/2016
Could your baby monitor be hacked?

Parents are being warned to make sure their baby monitors are secure after reports the devices are easily hacked.

The devices, designed for parents to keep abreast of their infants while not in the same room, can in some cases provide an opportunity for "predators to watch and even speak to our children," the New York Department of Consumer Affairs has warned.

So how concerned should we be?

Dr Paul Ralph, a lecturer of computer science at the University of Auckland, says most monitors on the market lack protection systems, having "either none, or very weak ones".

"If the devices that you buy aren't very secure then someone might hack them," he told the Paul Henry programme this morning.

But he says people should have the right to be able to use cameras to keep an eye on their kids without fear.

"Just because you might get hacked doesn't mean that you shouldn't put a camera in your house -- if you want to put a camera watching your babies to keep an eye on them, you should be able to do that."

He says the companies making the monitors need to up their game and improve security, "if you're a company that makes these kind of devices, make them secure, hire security experts."

For parents, the advice is to do some research before you buy.

"The best thing to do is look for an independent evaluation of them online, look for benchmarking sites, someone has probably put up a website where they compared a whole bunch of different systems and compared their security so look for stuff like that.'

Watch the video for the full interview with Dr Paul Ralph.