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Advent tip #5: Change default passwords on baby monitors and webcams

If a device has a default password, the crooks know what it is! So change it if you don't want them watching what you're filming...

Whether it’s a baby monitor, a home surveillance system, or any other internet-enabled camera, it probably has a default pasword.

Make no mistake: if there’s a default password, the crooks know what it is.

In other words, if you don’t change the password from the default then you are making it much easier for a cybercriminal to hack in and watch whatever you’re filming.

That could be you, your house, your baby, or something else that you’d probably like to keep away from prying eyes.

Last year we wrote about one website that was streaming the live feeds of hundreds of thousands of internet-enabled cameras that were secured with a default, out-of-the-box password.

Don’t make it easy for thieves – change passwords from their defaults, and make sure you pick a proper password.

If you aren’t sure how to set the password, try the camera vendor’s support forums for help.

Images of Christmas tree and Advent calendar courtesy of Shutterstock.


Does this hold true for onboard webcams? For instance those built into laptops and iMacs?


Those are generally secured by the operating system and applications on the host computer, and most OSes these days don’t have default passwords. You have to choose one when you first set up the device.

That’s often not true of so-called embedded devices, which often work “out of the box,” just not very securely.


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