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NYC Investigates Dangers of WiFi Baby Monitors

NYC Investigates Dangers of WiFi Baby Monitors

Baby monitors are used by moms and dads everywhere as a tool to keep their little ones safe, but NYC investigators are warning that this must-have item for new parents could also pose a very real danger, according to Parent Herald.

The Department of Consumers Affairs (DCA) in New York issued a warning against the security issues of some WiFi-enabled cameras. These cameras can allow hackers to watch your child and screen the footage by gaining access to the monitor through the Internet. In fact, a recent probe by the Federal Trade Commission found that four out of five of the Wi-Fi baby monitors tested posed serious security threats.

"Video monitors are intended to give parents peace of mind when they are away from their children, but the reality is quite terrifying," said Julie Menin, DCA Commissioner. "If they aren't secure, they can provide easy access for predators to watch and even speak to our children.

There have been reports of hackers stealing video feeds from home security cameras and baby monitors to be streamed online. In addition, hackers have used the cameras in order to shout abusive comments to children. Last year, a hacker was able to infiltrate a baby camera in a home in Indiana and played the song "Every Breath You Take,” followed by "sexual” noises. In 2013, a family in Houston was woken up after an online predator hacked into their daughter's monitor and yelled inappropriate comments to the two-year-old.

NYC is concerned enough about the dangers to launch an investigation of the companies that manufacture the baby monitors. Last week, the DCA issued subpoenas to four unnamed companies requesting information about their products' security practices. In the meantime, parents can avoid any dangers by making sure their Wi-Fi is password protected and checking the monitor’s security system before setting it up in their homes.

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Author: Linda DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others. She lives in New York with her husband and two sons. See More

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