The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released a notification regarding the smart toys that took hold of the family market. Even though they are cute and created to entertain and educate the active little ones, the agency can’t vouch for their digital security. Each of such products can enter homes with GPS options, speech recognition, cameras, microphones, sensors, and other embedded features that can be turned into sources of leaks.
Smart Toys Are Entertaining and Educating Kids through Fun Activities
On Monday, the official FBI website posted an advisory regarding a new kind of product on the market, namely smart toys. These items come in fluffy shapes of cute animals that can even apply some educational lessons to the little ones. They usually use gamification techniques to encourage kids to perform their daily routine without feeling an obligation. For instance, they can make teeth brushing look fun by setting a pleasant mood with kids’ music and naming this chore as an important mission.
However, FBI’s warning isn’t without real-life cases to support their claims. There were many incidents when hackers gained access to kids’ personal profiles that usually contain private details and spy on them. On top of that, some insecure products came with clauses hidden in large terms & conditions. These stipulations allowed companies to collect data about their target public, kids or parents.
“Consumers should examine toy company user agreement disclosures and privacy practices.”
Hackers Can Find Vulnerabilities in Such Products and Harness Them to Their Profit
Therefore, the federal agency not only encourages customers to read the contract but to also track the path of data while they use their products. This way, they can find out if their private information falls into the hands of third parties or not. On top of that, parents should protect their devices by activating passwords and encryption wherever it is possible.
Besides child identity fraud or data stealing, hackers can use the data these smart toys collect to learn more about children. This way, it is easier for them to earn their trust and turn them into exploitation sources for personal gains.
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