The Eyes Of A Stranger: Could Someone Be Using Your Baby Monitor - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Eyes Of A Stranger: Could Someone Be Using Your Baby Monitor To Spy On You?

Posted: Updated:

Technology has made the lives of parents so much easier over the years, but that same technology may be leaving you vulnerable.

It's an issue that didn't really hit home for Heather Thoburn of Spokane until last night.

"I didn't even have time to think, I just panicked and screamed," she told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

Heather and her husband had just put their two little girls to bed and were heading to bed themselves when she looked at the video monitor for their 6-month-old daughter.

"I saw hands going into the crib and running over the baby's back so I yelled to my husband, ‘Someone's in the room with our baby!'" she explained.

Her husband ran in to the room – but nobody was there and their daughter was safely sound asleep.

"We just couldn't piece it together right away," she said.

But when they looked closer they realized they weren't looking into their daughter's room at all. It turns out the camera over their crib had disconnected and they were picking up a neighbors signal. Without realizing it, they had been looking right into the house of another mother soothing her own child – from the comfort of their own bedroom.

"It's a little scary thinking that other people can be watching our baby," she added.

KHQ's Kelsey Watts spoke with some of the Thoburn's neighbors and none of them had video baby monitors. In fact, one of them said she decided to buy an audio-only model for this very reason.

By our calculations based on families with babies living nearby, the radio frequency was being sent out to an area of roughly 900 feet around the home; anyone living nearby – or even driving down the street – could pick it up.

The good news is neither Spokane Police or the Spokane County Sheriff's Department have heard of any criminals hacking into the frequency to spy on local families, but we learned, unfortunately it's very easy to do.

It's always a good idea to do your research to see if you can lock down the frequency on the video monitor you use and always remember to turn it off when you're not home. Also, you may want to consider using a monitor that runs on a password protected Wi-Fi network – or one that doesn't use video of all.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the issue of technology and safety. Each model will have its own ups and downs and you have to choose what's best for your family.

 

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • TIS' THE SEASON FOR AWESOME PICS: We Want Your Spring Photos!

    TIS' THE SEASON FOR AWESOME PICS: We Want Your Spring Photos!

    Monday, April 14 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-04-14 14:17:18 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thank you so much for all of the Spring photos that you have sent us so far, keep them coming! Tis the season for beautiful images all over the Inland Northwest. You can send your photos to PIX@KHQ.com; or you can upload your images on our KHQ Facebook wall!>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Thank you so much for all of the Spring photos that you have sent us so far, keep them coming! Tis the season for beautiful images all over the Inland Northwest. You can send your photos to PIX@KHQ.com; or you can upload your images on our KHQ Facebook wall!>>
  • SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-04-23 05:02:05 GMT
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley.>>
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley. Voters approved a measure to create a library capital facilities district, but rejected a bond to pay for two libraries and renovate an existing library. The bond requires a 60% super majority to pass.>>
  • President Obama Tours Mudslide Damage; Comforts Family

    President Obama Tours Mudslide Damage; Comforts Family

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:55 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:55:41 GMT
    KHQ - Stay tuned to KHQ.COM for the arrival of President Barack Obama in Everett, WA on Air Force 1 around 12:30pm Tuesday. President Obama plans to visit and survey the devastated community of Oso. Air Force 1 could arrive as early as 12:25 or as late as 12:50. >>>WATCH Right Here On Khq.com>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - The President has arrived in Washington State to visit and survey the devastated community of Oso. Air Force touched down in Everett shortly after 12:30 today. Obama will tour the area of Oso and visit with families who loved ones were killed in the devastating mudslide.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    SPECIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:02 AM EDT2014-04-23 05:02:05 GMT
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley.>>
    KHQ.COM- A special election was held on Tuesday with various items on the ballot, including library funding in Spokane Valley. Voters approved a measure to create a library capital facilities district, but rejected a bond to pay for two libraries and renovate an existing library. The bond requires a 60% super majority to pass.>>
  • HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD? Authorities Say Missing Burien Teen May Be In Spokane Area

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:11:42 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- The King County Sheriff's Office and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believe that a missing 15-year-old boy may be in the Spokane area. Authorities say 15-year-old Jacob Hays of Burien was last seen on April 3, 2014. He is white with brown hair and brown eyes. He's 5'10" and weighs 160 pounds. >>
  • PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    PHOTOS: KHQ Covers The President In Oso

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:54:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people.>>
    KHQ.COM - President Obama visited Oso one month after the deadly mudslide that so far has killed 41 people. KHQ's Kelsey Watts was in Everett where the President landed and KHQ's Sean Owsley was in Oso during the President's visit. They tweeted out, along with our field producer Josh, a lot of pictures during their coverage, and you can see them all in the slideshow attached to this story.>>