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Baby & child.

16 August 2021

Could my baby monitor get hacked?

Protect your baby monitor from hackers and find out what happened when we investigated how easy it is to hack into three wi-fi baby monitors
Andrew Laughlin
Using tablet as baby monitor

A wi-fi video baby monitor, also known as smart video baby monitor, comes with a camera and a corresponding app, allowing you to remotely check in on your baby using your smartphone, tablet and in some cases, your computer.

Smart baby monitors are a useful bit of kit to own as you can look at your little one wherever you are, as long as you have a good wi-fi connection.

However, if the manufacturer hasn't built proper security features in the baby monitor, it could also get hacked and pose a risk your privacy and security.

Baby monitor reviews – find out which models come top in our tests.  

types of baby monitors

How easy it is to hack a wi-fi baby monitor

Any product that is connected to the internet without proper security could in theory be hacked by someone with malicious intent, including a baby monitor. 

The likelihood of it happening is thankfully still relatively low, but there are disturbing stories of baby monitors being hacked by strangers who are then able to project their voice through the monitor's speaker.

Additionally, footage from hacked baby monitors has ended up on rogue websites, enabling strangers to watch it.

We assess every baby monitor that we test for how they protect your privacy and security. See the smart baby monitors that have passed our tests and performed well overall in the below table. 

Best smart baby monitors

  • 75%

    Wi-fi baby monitors allow you to easily see and listen to your baby via an app on your smartphone or tablet. And as they’re not reliant on a traditional signal, you can view your baby wherever you are as long as you have a decent wi-fi or mobile data connection. We don't get too many Best Buy smart baby monitors but this model makes the grade.

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  • 72%

    You’ll love the sharp picture quality with this smart baby monitor, whether you use the parent unit or the companion app on your smartphone or tablet. It’s easy to use and passed our security and privacy tests.

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  • 70%

    As with all wi-fi smart baby monitors, this model isn’t limited by range, so if you have an internet connection and the app on your smartphone or tablet, you can check the video feed from wherever you are. It has 1080p Full HD video with night vision, and you can pan and tilt the camera to get a better view of your baby sleeping.

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  • 69%

    Alongside being able to control this smart baby monitor with an app, you can also do so with your voice. If you have a compatible Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant device at home, you can check the room temperature, activate motion detection and play a short lullaby with voice commands.

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Table updated July 2021

baby monitor

How can I keep my baby monitor safe from hackers?

Hackers tend to crawl the web to find unsecured cameras, and then exploit them. They may do this for criminal gain, or just for kicks, either way you can protect yourself from this activity.

If you've got a baby monitor that can be used over the internet or one that updates data to the Cloud or any third-party site, here's how to keep it as secure as possible:

  • Set strong passwords: Set up your camera with a strong password that isn't a repeat of passwords you've used elsewhere. Do not use any default passwords supplied with the baby monitor as they may already be known to hackers. Make sure your home wi-fi router has a strong password, too. 
  • Two-factor authentication: Make sure you go the default settings and activate all of the security features available to you, including two-factor authentication if it is available. This is a useful extra layer of security.
  • Run updates: Check for any security software updates for the camera and app regularly and make sure to install them. In some cases you can enable updates to run automatically.
  • Care what you share: Turn off remote access to your baby monitor if you don't need it. Don't leave it open as a little eye in the room when it's not being used. 
  • Demand better security: Don't be afraid to badger a retailer or manufacturer about the security of a device you are considering. The more people ask, the more security will become their priority. 

Which? reviewed – Top five best baby monitors

Are smart baby monitors secure? 

1. Arlo Baby

Arlo Baby

Test findings: Our experts were impressed with the privacy and security of this wi-fi baby monitor.
We couldn't extract any images or video streams from the data or any private information such as the monitor's location.

Read our Arlo Baby review to find out more.

2. Motorola Halo Smart Crib Projector

Motorola Halo Smart Crib Projector

Test findings: We found some unencrypted traffic and we also discovered an open port for HTTP traffic.
Results: The security issues were only minor and Motorola immediately fixed them after we had been in contact with our concerns. 

Read our Motorola Halo Smart Crib Projector review to find out more.

3.  Owlet Camera Video Monitor

Test findings: Although it fared reasonably well in our security tests, Owlet allows you to use a weak password of just six characters without any other restrictions, such as special characters or numbers. We also found some slightly concerning data privacy issues when setting up the baby monitor.
Results: Make sure you set a strong, unique password for your Owlet account to increase your security. If you're worried about your privacy, possibly choose a different baby monitior instead. 

Find out more about this smart baby monitor in our Owlet Camera Video Monitor review

video baby monitor

Security cameras are not baby monitors

You’ll find plenty of wi-fi enabled cameras at temptingly-cheap prices on online marketplaces that claim they are suitable to use to monitor your baby. 

However, our testing has not only exposed security issues with wireless cameras, but also that they are more suited to detecting intruders than monitoring your baby’s sleep

Don't be tempted to use a wireless security camera as a baby monitor. With Best Buy baby monitors available for as little as £25, there really is no need to do so.

How we test wi-fi baby monitors

Our privacy investigation was a quick snapshot of the vulnerabilities of some popular models, but with more wi-fi baby monitors available to buy now – and many parents potentially unaware of the security issues they could be faced with – we think testing the privacy of wi-fi baby monitors is essential. 

For any wi-fi monitor we'll assess how secure they are and check for any vulnerabilities you may need to know about, such as unsecured data or weak password requirements and if any data could be intercepted.

So you can have peace of mind that you're choosing a safe wi-fi baby monitor to help keep an eye on your baby.

Find out more about how we test baby monitors.