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How to tell if your baby monitor’s been hacked — and the steps to take

The thought of a baby monitor being hacked would fill any parent with terror. Unfortunately, like most connected devices, baby monitors can be hacked, with cybercriminals doing so for various reasons. Here’s everything you need to know about baby monitor security, including how to tell if your baby monitor has been hacked — and the immediate steps to take.

How to tell if your baby monitor’s been hacked — and the steps to take

How to tell if your baby monitor has been hacked

Telling whether your baby monitor has been hacked isn’t always easy. Unfortunately, these devices typically don’t have the best security measures (like antivirus or anti-malware software).

However, a hacked baby monitor may show specific symptoms indicating an infection. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s worth investigating further. Here are the signs that a baby monitor may be hacked.

The baby monitor is rotating by itself

If your baby monitor is moving on its own or is not in the position you left it, it’s possible that someone could be controlling it. Do check if someone else in your house could have moved it — but if the answer is no, it may be a sign of hacking.

The LED is blinking continuously

In most baby monitors, a blinking LED light indicates that the camera is connected and the feed is being viewed using another device. If neither you nor another caregiver is streaming the baby monitor feed, but the LED continues blinking, you may want to check if it’s working correctly. It may be that the camera simply needs a reset due to a loss of connection or a technical issue — but it’s also a possible sign of an intruder.

Changed security settings

If your baby monitor is connected to your home Wi-Fi, it’s possible for hackers who gain access to change the security settings on your other devices. For example, you may notice that your antivirus software has been disabled.

It’s worth noting that it’s relatively unlikely that hackers will be able to access your other devices if you’re using the right security configurations (like two-factor authentication and strong passwords).

Security system alerts

Most baby monitor apps will let you control specific security settings related to your baby monitor. If you receive an alert in the app, it’s time to take action.

Additionally, if you notice things like changed settings, a password set to default, or an unusual spike in network traffic, you should look into it further.

Voices or noises coming from the monitor

If unusual voices, noises, or music are coming from the baby monitor, they definitely shouldn’t be ignored. While they may be coming from another caregiver (e.g., your partner or parent), they may also indicate that someone has gained access to it and is using the two-way communication feature.

What to do if your baby monitor has been hacked

If you suspect that a hacker has gained access to your baby monitor, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Your first priority should be stopping the hacker from being able to access the camera. Here are the steps to take.

  • Unplug the baby monitor. The first step is to disconnect your baby monitor so that remote access is no longer possible. Unplug the monitor while you complete the other steps.
  • Change your passwords. Remember to change potentially pwned passwords, especially those on your baby monitor’s app. Choose a strong, complex password — never reuse it for different accounts. Make sure you select the option that logs you out of the account on all devices (including the potential hackers). You can then log back in using the new password.
  • Change your Wi-Fi password. It’s also a good idea to change your network’s password. By changing your Wi-Fi password, you’ll cut off any unauthorized access. Remember to choose a strong and unique password — the more complex, the better.
  • Report the incident. Consider reporting the incident to the relevant authority in your country. If your baby monitor was hacked, chances are you’re not the only one. Reporting the incident can help prevent similar incidents in the future and perhaps catch the person responsible.
  • Contact customer support. You should also let the manufacturer’s customer support know about the incident so they can investigate. Informing them about the incident may also help the manufacturer address the security vulnerabilities to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • Consider changing your device. If your baby monitor’s been hacked, you should consider investing in a different device, perhaps one with advanced security features. While most baby monitors don’t have antivirus software, some modern digital baby monitors have other advanced security measures.

How to protect yourself from baby monitor hacking

While completely preventing hacking is challenging, you can improve the security of your baby monitor and your other connected devices with the following steps.

  • Use two-factor authentication. If your baby monitor’s app or account supports two-factor authentication, enable it for an added layer of security. With two-factor authentication, you will be asked to log in using an additional step, like entering a one-time code or using biometric authentication (e.g., Face ID).
  • Regularly install updates. Keep your baby monitor and the associated app up to date, and never delay essential updates. Regularly updating devices means you’re not missing out on necessary security patches.
  • Make sure you read the user manual. This tip may sound simple, but baby monitors can come with various security features, depending on the manufacturer. Familiarize yourself with what security measures the baby monitor offers — the more you know, the better prepared you are.
  • Secure your internet router. Protect all devices connected to your router with a VPN. Setting up a VPN on your router encrypts your internet traffic, making it more difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access. Download a VPN now to secure your entire home network.

You may also want to cover the baby monitor’s camera when not in use. While covering the camera won’t protect you against hacking, it may increase your privacy if the monitor is already hacked. You can find reliable camera blockers online.

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