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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida’s Attorney General has a warning for parents looking to buy their kids toys that connect to the internet this holiday season.
Before even buying smart toys, parents are advised to check if the toys have the proper security and privacy protections for children.
“When shopping for children’s presents, safety should be the top priority. I urge parents to be cautious of any toy that could collect and share a child’s sensitive information,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Smart toys could collect children’s information such as their location, home address, age, name, pictures and even voice data.
If the toy does not have the proper security and privacy settings, all of that information may get into the wrong hands.
The FBI has the following suggestions to make sure you’re taking added precautions to check if the smart toy is safe for your child:
- Research for reported security issues using online resources from sites that conduct cyber security research, consumer product reviews and child and consumer advocacy;
- Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet access;
- Look into the toy’s Internet and device connection security measures. Check if the toy uses authentication when pairing the device with Bluetooth or uses encryption when transmitting data from the toy to the Wi-Fi access point and to the server or cloud;
- Find out if toys can receive firmware or software updates and security patches. If so, ensure the toys are running on the most updated versions and that any available patches are implemented;
- Check where user data is stored—with the company, third party services or both—and whether any publicly available reporting exists on the company’s reputation for cyber security; and
- Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies from company and any third parties.