1. This month, a family near London, Ontario, was terrified when their baby monitor suddenly began playing creepy music and a voice told them they were being watched.
“The camera played some eerie music and a voice could be heard indicating the parent and child were being watched,” Ontario Provincial Police Const. Liz Melvin told Canadian Press. “Obviously it’s going to be disturbing.”
Waking up to hear a stranger’s voice in your child’s room is the nightmare of every parent. And thanks to internet-connected baby monitors, it’s happened a lot over the past two years.
These baby monitor hacks will haunt your dreams (and hopefully get you to change the default password on your monitor).
2. A couple in New York City didn’t understand why their 3-year-old was telling them he was afraid of the man in his monitor. Then one night in April they heard the voice for themselves.
“Wake up little boy, daddy’s looking for you,” the voice told the boy, according to CBS News.
As they walked into their child’s room, the man in the monitor said, “Look, someone’s coming.”
The mother burst intro tears because she realized what her son had been talking about.
3. Also in April, a Kansas mother was putting her son down in the crib when she looked at the baby monitor camera and realized it was following her movements. “Every single hair on my body stood up. I was freaked out,” she told KWCH 12.
“I knew someone was watching me. I yelled into the camera and I was like, ‘Quit watching me’ but I didn’t know what to do. I was just so scared and so shocked that this is actually happening to me.”
4. Yet again in April, a Minnesota mother was sleeping when she suddenly woke up to the sound of strange music playing in her child’s room.
“We were sleeping in bed, and basically heard some music coming from the nursery, but then when we went into the room the music turned off,” the anonymous mother told KTTC.
They tracked the IP address that had accessed their camera and discovered a website with “thousands and thousands of pictures of cameras just like their own.”
Anyone could use the site to access hacked cameras and monitors located in at least 15 different countries, according to the report.
5. A Houston nanny was playing with her 1-year-old charge in January when suddenly a voice spoke through the monitor: “That’s a really poopy diaper.”
Ashley Stanley, the nanny, thought the parents were playing a joke on her. She soon realized they weren’t.
“I was kinda really freaked out like maybe someone hacked into the camera,” Stanley told KHOU 11. “He said something else like ‘You should probably password protect your camera.’”
6. It was around midnight in April 2014 when Heather Schreck heard a man screaming, “Wake up, baby! Wake up, baby.”
She looked at her phone and could see the camera monitor moving around the room. But her daughter was lying still. That’s when the screaming picked up, according to Fox 19 in Cincinnati.
Her husband ran into the room and was also yelled at by the voice coming through the monitor.
“Then it screamed at me,” he said. “Some bad things, some obscenities. So I unplugged the camera.”
7. Marc Gilbert freaked out in August 2013 when he heard a man calling his 2-year-old daughter a “moron” and “little slut” through the monitor in her room.
Even more disturbing, the man called Allyson by her name, according to a report from ABC News. It was printed on her Houston bedroom wall. The man could read it because he’d also taken control of the monitor’s camera.
The hacker then began swearing at Gilbert and his wife when the couple entered the room.
“Allyson was born deaf, so she has cochlear implants,” Gilbert said. “Thankfully we had them off and she didn’t hear any of it and she slept right through it.”
Baby monitor hacking is relatively easy to do. Many models connect to the internet in order to enable a parent to see and hear their child from anywhere. Once part of the network, it’s susceptible to outside attacks.
Here are three basic steps to take in order to prevent your monitor from being hacked:
• Change the default password that comes with the system to something stronger. Ensure you also have a strong Wi-Fi password for your home network.
• Install all updates from the manufacturer to ensure you have the latest security patches.
• Install (and update!) anti-virus and malware software on your computers.