How Can Connected Toys Expose My Family to Hackers?
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
Three popular smart toys are causing quite a stir in recent weeks because of the potential security risk posed to children and families that own them. The toys in question are "Hello Barbie", "My Friend Cayla," which is a talking doll that can understand and respond to kids in real-time, and the "i-QUE" robot, which is described as a "quick witted, smart talking know it all." talking doll. These smart toys ask children for very specific personal information such as parent names, favorite TV shows and meals, school name and the city in which they live. Both toys also take users' IP addresses in order to collect location data, according to their privacy policies.
Parents, you need to exercise caution when setting up these smart toys for your children and take the necessary precautions to protect your family from a serious data breech. Follow these steps.
1. The first thing that you can do to ensure the protection of yourself and the people you care about is before buying a new device for yourself or giving one to another person is searching the name of the device with the keywords 'hack', 'glitch' or 'scam' and seeing what results come up.
2. Check the Terms and Conditions on these smart toys to see what the holding company can do with your data. In the wrong hands, it could lead to an intimate portrait of your family that you may not want to share. If the terms aren't clear, then don't purchase the item.
3. When giving a new device to your children, make sure that you check what permissions the app wants access to as sometimes an app can request access to things such as your home address, phone number, bank account details and general information that about your private lives. As a rule of thumb it is not necessary to give away any information requested by an app that you wouldn't want to give away to a stranger!
4. If your children are using anything that connects to your WiFi then make sure they are not sharing personal information such as names, birthdays, home address, and school location.
5. When not in use, turn the gadget off completely.
Let your kids enjoy these connected devices and the amazing benefits they provide. Also be aware of the information they are using. Have fun, stay safe.
Did you purchase any Smart Toys for your children this Holiday Season? Are you aware of the security risks? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share this information with everyone.