Baby Video Monitors Could Invite Burglars

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Best to Use Wi-Fi and Never Assume That System Is Secure, Experts Say

Parents, beware: That baby video monitor on which you rely to watch your little one can also be used by would-be burglars and others to snatch the signal from afar and peer into your newborn’s room.

The potential problem lies in the open and unlicensed radio frequencies that baby monitors use. Your device’s signal could be picked up by the receiver of a stranger’s video monitor, giving that person a live video feed of your room while the transmitter is on.

“Most video monitors don’t have security features,” said Angelos D. Keromytis, associate professor of computer science at Columbia University in New York City.

It’s a new take on an old problem that exists with cordless phones and audio baby monitors, which often allowed people to inadvertently, or intentionally, listen in on other people’s conversations, he said.

The most secure baby video monitors are ones that hook up to your home’s wireless network. But even then, experts warn, consumers need to set their Wi-Fi to a WPA2 security standard, which offers the best encryption of data. Earlier Wi-Fi protocols, such as WEP, are easier to hack.

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