Tech

Urgent warning about smart toys that can track your kids as parents hunt for Christmas presents

PARENTS who are shopping in the middle of the holiday season are being warned about smart toys that could track their kids.

With the holidays approaching, experts advise parents to think twice when buying smart toys as they can spy on their kids and possibly even steal their identities.

Although smart toys are popular, they can still be compromised, making it easy for hackers to track children

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Although smart toys are popular, they can still be compromised, making it easy for hackers to track childrenCredit: Getty

Smart toys or toys that come with a camera or microphone and can connect to the internet, make up a $6 billion industry.

“All of this can create privacy concerns with your child and while not all smart toys are dangerous, what is alarming is their privacy,” said Hannah Rhodes. Children can be threatened,” says Hannah Rhodes.

Rhodes, an associate with US PIRG, a nonprofit that looks at consumer health and safety issues, wrote a report titled Trouble in Toyland have found security risks in some smart toys.

The risks are associated with data being collected on children, hackers gaining access through Bluetooth connections, or children being viewed with inappropriate content.

“This year, in our report, we actually looked at a karaoke machine for kids and it could be connected using Bluetooth.

“What we found is that even when the toy is on and you don’t press the Bluetooth pairing button, you can connect to it from 30 feet outside of your home,” said Rhodes.

Children can also have their information stolen if a game or app asks for records. A child’s credentials can lead to identity theft.

By law, toy companies are required to notify parents of their privacy practices if their toys collect personal information from children under the age of 13.

Companies must ask for parental consent and give parents the right to delete their children’s personal information.

But hackers may find it easier to steal that information because toy companies are not tech companies.

Rhodes says parents need to be present when the smart toy is being set up. If your child needs to create an account, make sure that strong passwords are being used and that sensitive information is not left out.

“They are becoming more common and that is why it is important that we discuss possible problems and ensure that we prevent or prevent them before they occur,” says Rhodes. they happen”.

Many of these toys have cameras and microphones and can connect to the internet, which is why parents must be present when arranging toys.

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Many of these toys have cameras and microphones and can connect to the internet, which is why parents must be present when arranging toys.Credit: Getty

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17021442/parents-warned-about-smart-toys-spying-on-children/ Urgent warning about smart toys that can track your kids as parents hunt for Christmas presents

Caroline Bleakley

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