A Texas family discovered that their 2-year-old child’s baby monitor was hacked when they heard a strange voice coming from inside their child’s bedroom; someone had broken into their home – not through a window or an unlocked door, but through their computer.
Like many other parents of babies and toddlers, Marc Gilbert and his wife installed the camera in order to keep an eye on their baby.
But, unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones watching their toddler’s room; they heard the predator say, “Wake up Allyson, you little —-.”
It turns out that the monitor was connected to a webcam. Sound like a fluke? It’s not. In an interview with HLN, Brett Larson (host of Techbytes) asserts that any information that is “out there”, i.e., on the web can be hacked. And it may be that the best proactive stance to take on the matter is to assume you WILL be hacked, in order to stay several leaps ahead of the bad guys.
How “They” Get In
Hacking, for those who have nothing better to do, is not that difficult. Ever get an advertisement supposedly from your bank or facebook asking you to update your information? Many times those innocuous links are anything but; they are means to a nefarious end for the hacker.
As for webcams, they are especially problematic because of the visual aspect; a hacker can see where the windows are, they can learn the name of the child by listening to their parents, and they can also determine what the family’s schedule is.
In addition to webcams and laptops, hackers are increasingly able to access information through malware apps downloaded to our smart phones and tablets. According to a survey by McAffee, we have a 1 in 6 chance of downloading apps containing a “bad app” that allows a hacker access to all of our pertinent information.
Maintaining Due Diligence
Scary stuff, but there are precautions we can take. Just as a burglar won’t bother with a house that has an alarm system, a hacker won’t waste time on anything remotely difficult. Here are some tips:
- Change your default wifi and cable passwords; then change them again every six months after that.
- Make your passwords complicated by using both upper and lower case letters, as well as characters
- Avoid clicking onto strange links
- Limit the type of apps you download to your phone or tablet by asking yourself if you really need it.
- If you own an Android, you must exercise even more caution, as they are more likely to be hacked.
For more information on keeping your iPhone safe, check out “WARNING: This App May Ruin Your Life” in Huff Post Tech.