Two-way radios are a marvellous thing. They are an important security tool for parents checking in on their babies, a fun toy for young children, an important piece of police equipment and a communication essential for large scale event organisers.
It’s important to ensure that your radio device is correctly configured and password protected to avoid your radio frequency being picked up by another device. Over the years, there have been a number of funny and intriguing stories regarding conversations overheard on walkie talkies, baby monitors and two-way radios.
Here are the funniest stories we’ve found:
1. I overheard my baby reciting the alphabet over the baby monitor. The issue being that my baby was 4 months old at the time and couldn’t yet talk. The realisation that my baby was a child genius was quickly shattered by the logical explanation that the monitor had picked up the frequency of a neighbour whose 4 year old child was practicing his ABCs
2. I was organising an event and used my radio to request all staff gather for a quick prep meeting. I was very confused when I got the reply, “Unavailable. I’m on Brent Street will take around 20 mins” until I realised that my radio was picking up the frequency of a taxi driver’s radio outside!
3. When I was a teenager my friend and I had walkie talkies and used to mess around with them and pretend to be police officers. One day our radio intercepted an actual police radio which said something about a burglar who was on run. Rather dangerously, we decided to help the police by searching for the burglar. Suffice to say the police were not impressed with us, neither was my mum!
4. My husband and I were left red face after our baby monitor picked up a particularly bad argument that our neighbours were having next to their monitor. It got pretty personal and we eventually had to switch the monitor off. It was difficult to look at them in the same way after that!
5. I was babysitting a neighbour’s child when I heard a muffled man’s voice over the baby monitor. Obviously I was worried so I went to the baby’s room and saw her fast asleep. I went back to watch TV and kept hearing the voice in and out of conversation. It took me a while to realise that the monitor was picking up a conversation that my dad was having on his mobile phone next door!
6. I was in the kitchen and I heard my sister in law talking on the baby monitor. I was confused since I was sure she wasn’t in the house (we were often at each others houses since we live 2 doors away from each other) so I went to check on my baby who was fast asleep. I realised that my monitor was picking up interference from her baby monitor two doors down!
7. Our radio story is very strange and to this day we still haven’t heard of any other similar cases. My mother temporarily lived with us before she moved into a care home and we set up a monitor in her room so that she could shout us if she needed anything. As soon as we installed it the smoke alarm kept going off and we couldn’t figure out why. I turned off the alarm and went into my mother’s room when the smoke alarm went off again. We realised that whenever the monitor picked up any movement it set off the smoke alarm. We took it back to the shop and got a different model which seemed to work fine. No one could explain how the two interfered with each other!
8. A local teacher bought a monitor to check on her baby when he was sleeping. She quickly discovered that the monitor was in fact picking up interference from inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis!
Although some of these stories are rather humorous, having a vulnerable device can be a security risk.
There are simple ways to avoid your device being hacked or accidentally broadcasting your device to other frequencies:
- Password protect your device; particularly important when it comes to baby monitors. They often already come with a password however it should be changed to make it stronger and more secure against hackers.
- Install free antivirus software on your smart devices and radio monitor to keep out any unwanted visitors.
- Manufacturers often offer security software with each device in order to tackle the issue of hacking; make sure you have the most up to date versions.