Technology experts hacked their way into our home gaining access to personal pictures and live footage through baby monitors.

We were approached by ITV and asked if they would allow a team of hackers to attempt to get into our technology around the home. The TV team gained entry to our wifi code within a day, which allowed them access to baby monitors, laptops, TVs, iPads, mobiles and smart watches.  The ITV team set up camp on our driveway for three days during filming. Within a day they hacked the eight-digit wifi code using software on a laptop which can test 10,000 password tries a second. We were told if we were to add another two digits to our wifi password we can make it 676 times harder for hackers.

It was certainly an eye opener. The fact they could get into our tech wasn’t a surprise but the idea of a stranger gaining access to things like a live feed of Ace in his cot, sent chills down my spine.

A few tips to help protect yourself and your family;

  • Make sure your passwords are complex. Avoid dictionary words which are easier for hackers to crack. Instead, use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, and numbers.
  • Make sure your passwords are long. For example, a password made of 8 random upper case letters (with no dictionary words) can be hacked in a matter of days using password-cracking computer programmes. But if you add just 2 extra characters, to make it 10 characters long, it will be 676 times harder to crack, taking a computer programme years instead of days to solve.
  • Avoid re-using the same password for different accounts or devices. If a hacker cracks one of your passwords, they can try the same password on other devices or online accounts. Keep your individual accounts/devices more secure byusing a different password for each of them.
  • Always install updates. Companies sometimes release software updates to fix vulnerabilities, so you should always try to install updates as soon as they are available for any of your devices, apps or programmes. This includes ensuring that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, and keeping it up to date.
  • Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request. Whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email, remember that fraudsters will often pose as a real person or organisation. Fraudsters can also use ransom threats, and apply pressure on you to act quickly. If you are concerned, stop and talk to someone you trust, or call the Action Fraud advice line.
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi and shared computers. Avoid connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. If you do use Wi-Fi on a shared network, avoid logging into emails/online banking etc.

If you think you have been a victim of hacking, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *