Baby monitor hacked, spies on child; How to protect your network

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by Diana Zoga / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 17 at 8:08 PM

(KMOV) -- A Houston, Texas family reported that a hacker tapped into their router and got access to a web camera in their baby's room. 

It's alarming... and security experts tell News 4 that it's also pretty common.

"A lot of people just have this belief that hackers only go after people they know. We always say there are two types of hackers out there.  There are hackers that have a target and they're looking for a way to exploit that target and then there are people who know how to exploit certain technology and they're just looking for people to go after," said Dave Chronister of Parameter Security and Hacker University.  

Chronister says that pretty much any device, connected to a vulnerable home Wi-Fi system, can be manipulated.

Some hackers may be looking for personal and financial information.  Others aren't motivated by money - as we saw in the Texas case.

Chronister offered some simple tips to check the security of your network. 

First, make sure it's password protected.  If you are connecting a new device for the first time, you should be prompted to enter a password. 

If your internet service provider set up your Wi-Fi, change the password to one with at least 10 to 15 characters (numbers and letters) and change the password often.  Hackers will choose the path of least resistance.  A shorter password is easier to crack. 

If a hacker is working on yours for a while and you change it, his or her work starts over.

"Just change it and change it on a regular basis.  Every six months, every a year," said Chronister.

"It's a pain, but getting hacked and having someone yelling at your kids through a web cam is, to me, a lot more painful than having to change your password."

Look at your Wi-Fi security settings for the type of encryption used.  If you're using WEP, change the setting to WPA or WPA2, says Chronister.

News 4's Diana Zoga found a Google blog that helps explain why this is important.  

Here's another good resource from Kaspersky that walks you through some steps to take. 

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