Ears Everywhere! Even in Your Child's Toys!

Khryss | Published 2018-01-09 19:11

And that's a chilling warning from the FBI.

Internet-connected toys have been such famous entertainment to kids. However, FBI said that this could be used by hackers to listen to your conversations and even get the child's personal information!

No specific toys or brands were named but any toy that has microphones, cameras or location tracking and can be connected to internet -from an unsuspecting talking doll to tablets-- can put a child's privacy or safety at risk.

How to prevent all these hacking? Don't keep the toy.

But, of course, some can't just simple take away their kids' beloved toys. So, to at least reduce the risks, here's what one can do as listed by DailyMail:


Connect the toy in a secure Wi-Fi only and never in a public one. If you can create a password on the toy itself, please do it...immediately.


Always turn off or unplug a toy when unused so it stops collecting data.

'They become less of an attractive target,' said Alan Brill, who is a cybersecurity and investigations managing director at consulting firm Kroll in Secaucus, New Jersey.

If it has a camera, you can either face it toward a wall or cover it with a piece of tape when not used. Those with microphones can be kept drawer so it's harder for conversations to be heard, Brill said.


A software update may fix security holes, and you don't want to miss that fix, says Brill. In most cases, all they actually need is your contact information to update you. Other than that, like you child's birthday, you can just make it up.

'You're not under oath,' said Brill. 'You can lie.'


If the toy or device allows kids to chat with other people, let your children understand that they can't give out personal information, said Liz Brown, a business law professor at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, who focuses on technology and privacy law.

You can even check the chat section from time to time. Remember, others use this platform on their advantage and just pretend to be kids as well. 'It can get creepy pretty fast,' said Brown.


If a toy was compromised by a hacker, you can report it in the internet crime complaint center at IC3.gov.


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