Action Line: Protect yourself from Wi-Fi hackers

An Ohio family discovered last week someone had hacked into its baby monitor’s camera.

Heather Schreck discovered the hack when she picked up her phone to check the Wi-Fi-connected camera and noticed it was moving without her control.

“I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter,” she said. “He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby, wake up baby,’ and then just a long ‘aaahhhhhh’ screaming at her.”

“You’re basically letting strangers come into your household,” said husband Adam Schreck. “One, you don’t know who they are, two, you don’t know where they are, and three, you don’t know what they’re doing with that information they got from the webcam or any devices that they have access to.

“You do feel violated in a way,” he said.

Former Honolulu police detective and Internet security expert Chris Duque said this could happen to anyone, including families here in Hawaii. He said once criminals have control of your router, they also have access to whatever it’s connected to, like your computer or cell phone.

“Number one thing that I tell people is, you get any kind of electronic device, especially devices that connect to the Internet, read the manual,” Duque said.

Also, make sure you change the default password and user name on your router, as well as on your wireless device.

“There’s nothing wrong with the technology,” Duque said. “It’s just that there are people out there who are going to use the technology that we use to protect ourselves and our families. They’ll turn it around and use it to victimize us.”

It’s a scary reality that he says can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.

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