Are Hackers Communicating With Your Child Through Connected Toys?

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Connected toys are here and they have pierced the veil of our childrens' safety. You’d better watch out! Before you fulfill your kids’ wish list this year. Oh, the simple days of aisle wars over Tickle Me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Teddy Ruxpin … 

In 2017, the hottest, must-have holiday toys have taken on a whole new twist. Two cases in point: LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox - the customizable robot that lets you code its behavior via an app and complete activities, FurReal Friends - a collection of robotic pets that attempt to emulate domestic animals, right down to their personalities while teaching them code; and ToyMail Messaging for Kids - a break through simple way to let kids talk to friends, family and even the neighbor down the street about any and everything.

Here's The Issue

As compelling - and fun - as these toys may appear, if security isn’t taken seriously, there are associated risks with every joyful whiz and bang that comes along with each and every connected toy. They can be controlled by hackers to track, eavesdrop or even communicate with a child.

That’s the bad news. Always research the toy manufacturer, enable the toy’s privacy settings, Change any default usernames and/or passwords, Consider your connections, make sure they are secure, Verify your home network security, Talk to your kids about online security are just some of the ways you can mitigate some risks.

6 Steps You Can Take

1. Always research the toy manufacturer

2. If you buy, enable the toy’s privacy settings

3. Change any default usernames and/or passwords

4. Consider your connections, make sure they are secure

5. Verify your home network security

6. Talk to your kids about online security

Sources: https://blog.avast.com/what-santa-might-not-tell-you-about-connected-toys

              https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/16/hasbro-furreal-makers-proto-max/

-Allyson White, CEO Alde Security Solutions, LLC.