Using internet connected toys and social media safely

Using internet connected toys and social media safely is really important, especially when children are using these technologies.  Recently there has been a lot of press regarding the hacking of children’s toys and baby monitoring cameras. This year we have seen more attacks the most recent involving VTech. Other concerns around social media phishing and console hacks, so how can you keep your child’s data safe? With technology moving so quickly and lots of children, even as young as 6 years old, already knowing more than their parents, it can be a confusing techie world. The key to protecting your child using internet connected toys and social media safely is educating them in the risks involved, particularly when using social media, with what they share and which apps/companies they share their data with.

Internet and Social Media

Watch what your child is doing on the internet, monitor the sites they are accessing and what information they are sharing online, this sounds obvious but is often overlooked.  Most computers and internet providers will allow you to set this up free of charge and impose restriction on certain content. A recent trend of technology free bedrooms will help you to monitor what your child is doing online as they are not hidden away in the privacy of their own room. Recent research also highlights better sleep patterns if the bedroom is a “technology free zone”. I would also recommend checking who they are talking to on social media to ensure they are safe.

Internet Enabled Toys
vTech have advised that the following information has been accessed: Parent account information including name, email address, secret question and answer for password retrieval, IP address, mailing address, download history and encrypted password. Kid profiles including name, genders and birthdates. Kid Connect’s profile photos, undelivered Kid Connect messages, bulletin board postings and Learning Lodge content. Download sales report logs. In short I would recommend checking what security protection is in place when purchasing any internet connected toys and also be smart about what data you put up on sites on behalf of your children.

Parents are encouraged to set up accounts for their children when purchasing products including key personal data. Identity thieves use compromised data to pose as their victims, get loans or credit cards or apply for services such as utilities. Other types of criminals assume stolen identities to evade capture by police. Children’s clean credit slates are very attractive to fraudsters which can then be exploited for years without the victim’s knowledge.

Using internet connected toys and social media safely can be achieved.  Parental or school teacher’s understanding needs to be basic and clear.