It's every parent's worst nightmare: not being able to protect your children from danger. Threats are everywhere, even in the technology you use to keep them safe, as one family found out the hard way.
After a tip from another mother on Facebook, one mom in Houston discovered that hackers had gained access to the webcams installed throughout her house, designed to keep tabs on her three daughters: eight-year-old twins and a six-year-old.
It turns out, footage of the children playing in the girls' bedrooms was being live streamed to a "spy" app called Live Camera Viewer, an app that shows footage from public security cameras around the world. The site lets users stream their own footage too.
So lo and behold, when the mother checked out the site, sure enough, there it was: her children's bedroom, online and streaming for all to see. What makes it even creepier is that camera viewers also have the ability to rewind the footage, ensuring they miss none of the action.
The mother believes the hackers were able to gain access when her children were on the computer playing games and has no idea how long the bedroom was streaming on the site.
How to stay safe
- If you have a security camera or baby monitor, be sure to change your passwords immediately. Change all of the default settings too.
- Before purchasing any product that connects to your network, or transmits a signal, it's important to research the product's security settings. Check online to see if any security issues have been reported, or vulnerabilities have been found.
- We recommend that you at least take extra precautions to make sure your internet connection is safe. Check your router for security flaws, and make sure you've set a strong password.