PKSD Newsletter: Smart Toys and Your Child’s Safety

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on September 6, 2019 in Firm News
Updated on February 24, 2022

girl playing game on tabletAdvances in technology have forever changed children’s toys. Many toys are equipped with microphones, microcontrollers, memory and the ability to connect to the Internet. This is why monitoring your child’s use of these kinds of toys is especially important.

In our firm’s latest newsletter, we discuss how these toys could be a potential threat. For example, the MiSafe smartwatch, which is meant to track a child’s movements and activities, does not encrypt data or secure user accounts. This means anyone could listen to users via the microphone, track their location and even make calls disguised as a child’s parents.

Your privacy could even be invaded via a baby monitor. In a particularly disturbing situation, a couple heard a voice scream, “Wake up, baby!” over their baby monitor and found that a hacker had been watching their child through the monitor.

These are just a few examples that show how your child’s privacy and safety may be at risk from smart toys. Before purchasing smart toys or devices for your child, it is important to do your research.

Fortunately, there are some helpful consumer reviews and websites that show which toys and devices lack privacy settings that could leave your child vulnerable to marketers and hackers.

Once you purchase a device, you should make sure to turn off location tracking, only connect to a password-protected Wi-Fi network, and change the default username and password the first time you turn the device on.

Safety Tips for Children on Using the Internet

The Internet can be a dangerous place, especially for children. That is why parents should educate their kids on how to be safe when using the Internet, so they do not put themselves in danger.

For example, tell your children to never post personal pictures, ignore threatening messages, and tell an adult about any messages that were scary or hurtful.

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