Baby Monitors Guides

What is Encryption in Baby Monitors and Apps?

Sandra W Bullock

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In this article, I have shared information on baby monitor encryption to help you understand the importance of encryption in baby monitor security.

Although the Consumer Products Safety Commission(CPSC) does not currently have safety standards specifically for baby monitors, I strongly believe that if they were to establish guidelines, data encryption would be their paramount concern. And you may ask. What is baby monitor encryption?

That was my question too a few years ago when we had just started researching about baby monitor vulnerabilities. Understanding and appreciating the pivotal role of encryption in bolstering safety took us some time. However, once we grasped its significance, we made sure not to overlook it. We delve into this subject extensively here, recognizing its utmost importance.

What is a baby monitor encryption?

Baby monitor encryption is a method of securing data transmitted between a baby monitor and a receiver. It uses complex algorithms to encode the data, making it unreadable by anyone who does not have the correct decryption key. This ensures that sensitive information such as audio and video of your baby remains confidential and protected from potential hackers or unauthorized access. Without encryption, the data transmitted by a baby monitor can be intercepted and accessed by anyone with the right tools, putting your privacy and safety at risk.

In our previous post on the exposed vulnerable baby monitor apps, one of the vulnerabilities one monitor app called BabyCam app (Google Play Store link) had was a lack of data encryption. In this article, I’ll explain in detail what it is and its importance. Read more about the exposed vulnerable baby monitor apps here.

Let me explain encryption in plain terms.

Just like how you would lock your house to prevent intruders from entering and causing harm, encryption acts as a digital lock for your baby monitor. It prevents unauthorized parties from accessing the data being transmitted, thus ensuring the safety and privacy of your family.

Without encryption is like leaving your front door open

Not having encryption is like leaving your front door unlocked, making it easy for anyone to enter and potentially harm you and your loved ones. Similarly, not having encryption on your baby monitor leaves it vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Moreover, with the rise of smart homes and interconnected devices, encryption has become even more crucial. Baby monitors are often connected to other devices such as smartphones or tablets, making them susceptible to data breaches if not properly secured.

How does baby monitor encryption work?

Without getting too technical, baby monitor encryption works by converting the plain text data into a code that can only be read with the correct decryption key. This key is unique to each device and is generated using advanced algorithms. The encrypted data is then transmitted between the devices, ensuring its confidentiality and integrity.

For a baby camera unit, the video being recorded is encrypted and transmitted to the parent unit, which then decrypts and displays it in real-time. This process happens almost instantaneously, providing a secure and seamless experience for parents.

Video Explanation of Encryption:

Types of encryption used in baby monitors

Several types of encryption algorithms can be used in baby monitors. Some popular ones include Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA). Each of these algorithms has its unique way of converting the data into an unreadable code, making it difficult for hackers to access. Generally, the most secure encryption algorithms use longer keys, making it harder to crack the code. AES, for example, uses a 128-bit key, while RSA can use up to 4096 bits.

AES encryption is a widely adopted National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard and is used in most wifi baby monitor encryption for some good reasons. AES offers a cost-effective solution with faster speeds and exceptional security. Its implementation ensures affordability without compromising performance or safeguarding data.

Below is a table showing different types of encryptions;

table showing different types of encryptions
A table showing different types of encryptions. Source: (Preyproject.com)

Security cameras such as Nest use AES 128-bit encryption while superior monitors such as Cubo AI and Miku use AES 256-bit encryption.

Importance of choosing a baby monitor with encryption

With the advancements in technology, hackers have become more sophisticated in their methods of obtaining sensitive information. This includes accessing unencrypted data transmitted by baby monitors. Choosing a baby monitor with encryption is crucial for parents to ensure the safety and privacy of their children. Encryption adds an extra layer of protection against potential cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.

Encryption not only secures your monitor but all your devices that use your home router. It prevents hackers from gaining access to your network and retrieving sensitive information. In addition, encrypted baby monitors also offer secure remote viewing, allowing parents to monitor their child’s activity without the risk of interception.

Which baby monitors encrypt their data:

Several baby monitors in the market use encryption to protect data, and you should consider this feature when purchasing a monitor. However, it is important to note that not all monitors offer the same level of encryption. Some use basic encryption methods that may not be as secure as others.

When choosing a baby monitor with encryption, look for those that use strong and advanced algorithms such as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). This is a widely recognized and trusted encryption method used in many industries to secure sensitive data.

Security cameras such as Nest use AES 128-bit encryption while superior monitors such as Cubo AI and Miku use AES 256-bit encryption. So is AES 128-bit encryption less secure than AES 256-bit? The answer is no. Both are equally secure and use the same basic algorithm, but the difference lies in the length of the key used to encrypt and decrypt data. AES 128-bit encryption uses a key that is 128 bits long, while AES 256-bit encryption uses a key that is 256 bits long. This means that AES 256-bit encryption has a larger key space, making it more difficult to crack.

In addition to using encryption, baby monitors may also use other security measures such as secure Wi-Fi connections and two-factor authentication to further protect the data being transmitted. These additional layers of security help ensure that only authorized users can access the monitor and its data.

While there have been rumored cases of monitors such as Lollipop or Nanit getting hacked, it is most likely that the vulnerability resulted from improper setup or use, rather than a flaw in the encryption itself. This highlights the importance of following all recommended security measures and regularly updating your monitor’s firmware to ensure maximum security.

Factors to consider when choosing an encrypted baby monitor

When selecting a baby monitor with encryption, there are a few factors to consider. These include the type of encryption used, the strength of the encryption, and ease of use.

  • Protocol: It’s essential to choose a monitor that uses strong encryption protocols such as WPA2 or AES-256 bit. These protocols offer the highest standard of security and are recommended by cybersecurity experts.
  • Key Size: The key size refers to the number of bits used in the encryption process, with a longer key providing stronger protection. 128-bit and 256-bit AES keys are commonly used and provide robust security against potential attacks.
  • Ease of Use: It’s essential to choose a monitor with encryption that is easy to set up and use. Complicated encryption processes may lead to frustration and could result in parents not using the feature at all.
  • Other features: Along with encryption, look for other features that enhance security, such as two-factor authentication or regular firmware updates. These additional layers of protection can further secure your baby monitor from potential threats.

Final word:

In conclusion, choosing a baby monitor with encryption can provide peace of mind for parents, knowing that their child’s privacy is protected. By considering the factors mentioned above and carefully researching different models, you can select a monitor that meets your needs and offers the highest level of security for your family. With encrypted baby monitors becoming more prevalent in today’s digital age, it’s crucial to prioritize security when selecting a device for your child’s safety.