When you stir in the night, a quick check of the camera feed from the video monitor should show a reassuring image of your sleeping baby.
But when Heather Schreck, from Ohio in the States, checked on her 10-month-old Emma by looking at her smartphone app, she was terrified.
The camera was moving from left to right – but it was only supposed to move if following the child or there was someone else walking around the room.
Then she heard the chilling scream: “Wake up baby!”
“About the time I saw it moving, I also heard a voice again start screaming at my daughter,” Heather told Fox 19.
“He was screaming, ‘Wake up baby. Wake up baby’. Then just screaming at her trying to wake her up.”
Heather’s husband Adam, rushed to the room and the camera turned from distressed tot and pointed at him.
“He was screaming at me … so I unplugged the camera,” Adam said.
They then realized their £70 Foscam IP Camera had been hacked in to.
“Someone had hacked in from outside,” Heather said.
“You do kind of feel violated in a way,” Adam added.
Video monitor safety advice
Such camera hacks have been reported on computer and laptop webcams before, but this case proves that internet-connected video monitors can also be at risk.
“It’s not just that they want to get in and mess with your camera,” Dave Hatter, a solutions expert for Infinity Partners told the Daily Mail.
“More sophisticated hackers know they can use this as a launching off point to get into your network and potentially steal your ID or use your network to launch malicious attacks against someone else.”
Hatter’s advice is to change the password on your Wi-Fi as well as the camera itself, and make them different.
Also, make sure you check the manufacturer’s website regularly for updates you can download.
The Foscam camera, for example, has a known firmware vulnerability and had released an update to correct the problem but the Schreck’s were unaware of it.
The couple have now added the new feature to the monitor and changed their passwords, but they still don’t know who the man was or how many times he had hacked in.
MadeForMums Writer – Jessica Gibb