That high-tech teddy bear taking to your kids? You will want to keep a close eye on the cuddly critter.
FBI agents are warning parents to make sure internet-connected toys are safe and secure – and do not lead to child identity fraud or exploitation.
The FBI issued a warning about “smart” toys, which could pose a potential threat to privacy and contact concerns. Parents should do their research on toys that access Wifi or Bluetooth, especially when they put a child’s image and information into cyberspace.
“Before we put anything in her room and access it through the Cloud and WiFi, we do research on the product to make sure they have the right security in place,” says Amber Bahlke.
Amber's young daughter Amber has a few smart toys in her room, include a CloudPets teddy that lets her “talk” to her grandfather one thousand miles away.
Earlier this year, CloudPets customers in Australia were hacked by cyber criminals who held account information and voice messages for ransom.
The FBI also recommends you:
- Know all of the toy’s features; for instance, whether it has hidden GPS or location services
- Make sure toys run on updated software; older versions are targets for security breach
- Read all disclosures about the toy, eliminate surprises
- Turn the toy OFF when you or your child is done playing with it; that way all microphones/cameras are shut down
For the full FBI warning, visit: www.ic3.gov/media/2017/170717.aspx.