Sunday, July 30, 2017

FBI Warns Parents About Internet Connected Toys

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Beware of the toys.  They may be watching, listening and sharing.

That's the warning to parents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about internet connected toys.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued a statement to parents "to consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments."

The concern is that the toys could pose identity theft and exploitation threats due to microphones, cameras and geo-location data that is improperly used, shared or stored.  

The full notice is worth reading but here are a few points:

  • Only connect and use toys with trusted and secure Wi-Fin internet access.
  • Closely monitor children’s activity with the toys (such as conversations and voice recordings) through the toy’s partner parent application, if such features are available
  • Ensure the toy is turned off, particularly those with microphones and cameras, when not in use
  • Use strong and unique login passwords when creating user accounts (e.g., lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters)
  • Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies

Should we be concerned?  Maybe to Probably.  It can happen.

Nearly two years, we warned readers about the problem caused by one company.  

In that case, Vtech a major tech toy company, poorly stored sensitive children data on the web.

So the best thing we can do is to be cautious and knowledgeable.

Source: FBI

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