Be careful about what your friends and relatives bring to the next birthday party, that toy could potentially be leaking personal information and private details about your children and your family to unsavory sources.
The FBI recently issued a warning to parents about smart toys that could potentially be putting your child's privacy at risk.
Without thinking about it, we could be putting our children's safety at risk when we hand them internet-connected toys.
Toys that connect to your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are accessible to outside users who might want to listen in to conversations and collect personal information.
This could put your child's safety at risk, particularly if they are able to collect the child's name, school and location.
Find out how an 11-year-old boy was able to weaponize his teddy bear using Bluetooth on the next page.
Just recently, an 11-year-old boy named Reuben Paul demonstrated that being connected to Wi-Fi through Bluetooth him to weaponize his smart toy teddy bear.
Within a stranger's cellphone number, he hacked into his teddy, Bob, and was soon recording messages and turning the bear's lights on and off - remotely.
His chilling demonstration proved that dangerous hackers could use children's toys to engage in remote surveillance, steal passwords and geolocate people.
Learn how to protect your children and your family from this threat on the next page...
In the age of information, our government is still learning how to properly protect us from leaks, hacking and identity theft.
While we all enjoy being able to control our thermostats, baby monitors even coffee makers through our cellphones, we take a very real risk when we connect to the Internet of Things.
These Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled gadgets are convenient ways to keep us connected, but they are also convenient doors to our private lives - easily entered by knowledgeable hackers.
If you're worried, here are a few things the FBI suggests you do to better protect your family:
- Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet access
- Learn about the toy's Internet and device connection security measures
- Use PIN codes or passwords when pairing the device with Bluetooth
- Make sure the toys are running on the most updated versions of software
- Monitor your child's activity with the toys - use the toy's parent application if it is available
- Turn the toy off when not in use - especially those with cameras and microphones
Do you always turn off your Wi-Fi connected gadgets? Let us know in the comments below!
To learn more about cyber security and FBI recommendations, follow the link here.