It's enough to give any parent the willies. A Texan couple's nightmares came true when their wireless baby monitor was hacked recently. The intruder, who was able to see remotely into the sleeping child's room, went on to curse at her.
Disturbingly, this isn't the first incident of so-called monitor hacking. (An Illinois man sued the manufacturer upon discovered that his neighbour was able to spy on his child's room, including his wife breastfeeding.)
"I'm afraid the truth of the matter is some baby monitoring devices have not been built with security in mind, and instead have focused on convenience for the parents," admitted security consultant Graham Cluley.
According to an article in Today Moms, some monitors don't require passwords for remote access, leaving the devices vulnerable to hacking as Marc and Lauren Gilbert discovered.
Although the couple was at home, unbeknownst to them their two-year-old daughter was visible as she slept in her bed, the camera poised to display her name on the wall...
"He said, 'Wake up, Allyson, you little (expletive),'" recalled dad Marc. The 'intruder' went on to call Marc a "stupid moron" and his wife, "a b****."
Fortunately Allyson's cochlear implants were not switched on at the time, so she did not hear the message. Nonetheless, her parents were shaken enough to alerting parents and wireless monitor manufacturers to the need for improved security.
Since such devices can broadcast over Wi-Fi to computers, TVs, even smartphones, parents can keep a watchful eye on children—but so can anyone else. Techies insist that parents who purchase such equipment change the default password immediately.
Do you own one of these monitors? Does the convenience outweigh the security risks? Is some spyware worth investing in?
Health Canada has recalled the above bodysuit onesie in style number DA3147ST115, with the following size/UPC:
The onesies do not meet Canadian standards, as the parts are too small for children aged under three. The decals may separate, posing a possible choking hazard.
Though Walmart Canada reported one incident, no injury occurred.
Customers are advised to remove the onesies from children immediately, and arrange for a refund by contacting NTD Apparel Inc. at 1-514-341-8330, extension 244, or via email.
From March 25th to June 15th, 2013, approximately 6,183 onesies were sold by Walmart Canada.
How many siblings do you have? A new study from the Ohio State University claims the number of brothers and sisters you have growing up plays a role in your risk of divorce later in life.
According to an article in Science Daily, though the difference between kids who grow up with none or just one or two siblings is negligible, there is a marked 'protection' against divorce for those hailing from larger families.
"We expected that if you had any siblings at all, that would give you the experience with personal relationships that would help you in marriage," said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at OSU.
"But we found that the real story appears to be how family dynamics change incrementally with the addition of each sibling. More siblings means more experience dealing with others, and that seems to provide additional help in dealing with a marriage relationship as an adult."
The study drew on data from 57,000 adults across the United States at 28 points between 1972 and 2012 as part of the General Social Survey. And even when researchers accounted for variables in socioeconomic, racial, religious and educational factors, the trend remained.
So what is it about large families that sets the stage for sound adult relationships?
"Growing up in a family with siblings, you develop a set of skills for negotiating both negative and positive interactions," said Doug Downey, co-author of the study and professor of sociology. "You have to consider other people's points of view, learn how to talk through problems. The more siblings you have, the more opportunities you have to practice those skills."
Great news for sprawling families, like that of our own Julie Cole, and this celeb who spurned the idea of having just one child. However, the fact remains that women are having fewer babies in North America and elsewhere.
Are you from a large family? How did it affect your adult relationships?