Holiday toys could pose privacy concerns

December 03, 2018 08:48 AM

You might be gearing up for holiday shopping, but before you make a purchase there are some things you should know about toys and privacy. Most kids are not asking for an average toy anymore, it's all about technology. 

Experts say if a toy connects to the internet you could get hacked. This means someone could tap into your child’s device to watch or listen to them. They could also steal private information, but there are some things parents can do to keep your kids safe. 

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Jonathan S. Weissman, a senior lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology offers several tips to protect your family.

He says you sure you research before buying just any toy. The cheaper toys are often the easiest to hack. Weissman says you should only buy from reputable companies that will be quick to respond to any security breach or hack and always read the fine print. He recommends keeping up with any updates offered for your child's toy. You can use a fake name and birthday when setting up these toys.

If you plan to buy any internet enabled toy for your kid, it is important that you educate them on the importance of internet privacy. 

"You need to tell your kids that there are so many risks that will outweigh any inherent benefits that the device will provide them," Weissman said. "They have to know that their information can be used against them for the rest of their lives starting from a very young age."

Another important piece, you should never use these toys on public Wi-Fi.

Mozilla put together a list of 70 products to test the security levels. Researchers judged the products on whether or not the product uses encryption or requires a password. Their test showed only 33 of the items met Mozilla's minimum security standards.


Kaci Jones

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