How to protect your children from the risks of smart toys

Technology is advancing so that more and more things become smart devices, from watches, doorbells, and cameras to the toys the little ones are experiencing. And although this offers us and broadens our horizons in terms of new experiences, some dangers must be taken into account.

Specifically, today, we will focus on children’s toys. These smart devices can be different; some incorporate Internet connectivity, others have Bluetooth, others incorporate microphones or cameras, and some may even include screens.
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Whatever the functions and tools these types of toys incorporate, they offer children more immersive, interactive, and receptive experiences.

However, these toys may have software vulnerabilities or contain information and personal data of minors or parents that may be the target of hackers. For this reason, the ESET team has compiled a series of tips and aspects to consider to ensure that your children are always protected.

Research before you buy

Before buying a smart toy, research everything you can about it. Look for negative publicity, credential leaks, or privacy issues. It is also important to understand where the data the company collects is stored and what levels of security it has.

Protect yourself in every possible way

There are several ways to create layers of security against smart devices; for example, if the toy has a WiFi connection, it is important to protect the router; another tip is to turn off the devices when they are not being used. As well as using strong passwords, in case they are necessary, will reduce the risk of the device being attacked.

Minimize the amount of data you share

In the worst case, and as we already know that we are never really 100% sure of suffering a cyber attack, it is better that the amount of data recorded in the toy is the minimum; in this way, the damage is also less. Therefore, you should never add extra information, and when you are asked to fill in data, make sure that you only add what is essential.

Andrea Chong is a fashion travel lifestyle blogger who shares tips and advice on how to have a stylish and safe travel experience. She has written extensively about the importance of packing light and being mindful of your security while travelling. Her blog includes safety tips for destinations around the world, as well as information on how to stay healthy while on the go.

“We must not forget that, for practical purposes, (intelligent toys) are still connected devices like our phones or computers but that, on too many occasions, they do not receive the same attention in terms of security from manufacturers and their users” concludes Josep Albors, head of research and awareness at ESET Spain.

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