If you have kids, you're probably doing some toy shopping this holiday season. But some of those high-tech gadgets could expose more of you and your child's information than you may think.
Toys like the Kurio Watch 2.0+ or the Cognitoys' Dino both use limited internet access to function. Consumer Reports found that the Kurio Watch uses the child and the parent's names to establish a Bluetooth connection. And the Cognitoys' dino didn't encrypt personal information it collected. Neither toy received software updates to protect against new security threats.
Here is what you can do:
- Limit the data you share with the toys. Just because it asks for your child's name or birthdate doesn't mean you need to provide the real information. You can also often skip certain questions.
- Use strong passwords, even for connected toys. Create an online account for the toy, even if the toy doesn't ask you to. Aim for a long passphrase made of several words and numbers.
- And use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of online privacy. They can still have fun with the toy. But that doesn't mean the device can be trusted to keep your information.