After recently installing a security camera in her Washington, D.C. area home, the owner flipped on her monitor to see what the device had been recording. Not expecting to find anything out of the ordinary, the woman was sick when she saw what else was caught in the footage.
Sandie Kaplanis said she first thought to get a “nanny cam” in her house to keep an eye on her ailing dog while she was away all day. The pup, Amber, is suffering from kidney failure and could go at any time, and Kaplanis wants to be there for her in the event that it starts to happen while she’s at work. However, it wasn’t the dog that she saw when she checked one afternoon to see what was happening at home.
Kaplanis doesn’t have any children at home anymore, so when she turned the monitor on and saw a strange little girl asleep, she was shocked.
The child, who she had never seen before, was fast asleep in a bed with the monitor pointed right at her. Thinking that if she logged out of the Vivitar Smart Camera monitor and then back into it, she’d get the image she was expecting of her dog, Kaplanis gave it a try.
“So I log out and I log back in and I see my dog. And I log back in and I see this little girl. And this happened for a period of over 24 hours,” Kaplanis explained, according to WJLA.
The technical issue eventually resolved, but it took a full day to do so. However, the bigger issue for the woman wasn’t the faulty device. She wants to warn other parents that at any time someone could be watching your child or anything else going on in your home without your knowledge if you have this camera system or one like it.
Kaplanis complained to Vivitar, who was quick to apologize and vowed to investigate the issue. They sent her four new cameras for the inconvenience, but that doesn’t change the concern or sickening feeling one gets when you realize that you or your children could be someone else’s entertainment. The best way to prevent being watched but still use the convenience of these cameras is to make sure that your Wi-Fi is encrypted and that all of the system’s firmware is current, Internet safety expert Robert Siciliano suggested.
For now, Kaplanis is hoping parents hear her warning since she was left feeling pretty unnerved about the incident, wondering who else is being watched out there. If the footage got into the wrong hands, you or your family could become Internet famous without ever wanting to be.