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Are Internet Connected Toys Safe

Dear Robin-

My granddaughter would like me to get her a smart watches for Christmas. I own an Apple Watch and that is much too complicated and expensive for my 8 year old granddaughter. I have heard that these devices can be dangerous and a number of theses devices have been recalled due to security flaws. Are these devices safe and how to select one that will protect my granddaughter and at the same time let her feel grown up and have fun.

Erica-Michigan


Dear Erica-

This is a wonderful question. We all want to keep out children and grandchildren safe and secure. Most children's smart watches are equipped with GPS, a microphone and speaker, and have a companion app that grants parents oversight of the child wearing the device.


These Child-tracking smartwatches provide a convenient way of monitoring a child’s safety for parents and grandparents. However, some of the early models produced by MiSafes and Enox Safe-Kid-One, also identified serious security flaws that would allow an attacker to snoop into the smartwatch system. These hackers exploited system bugs which let them access and target the child’s GPS coordinates, send audio messages to them or call them, make secret one-way calls for spying, or retrieve a child’s personal details, like name, age, gender, weight, and photograph(s).


Our childrens' safety and technology is a significant concern. Because there's always a chance for any type of wireless communication device to be hacked, regardless of all the security features in place by the manufacture. We always need to make sure that our children and grandchildren are educated about "stranger danger" even on smart watch devices .


So here is my advice:


1-Always purchase a Childs smartwatch from a well know reputable company. Some of the cheaper watches from overseas can not be relied on to the have the security features that we need to keep safe.


2-Look for a watch that has passwords or pins to control who have access to your Childs data.


3-Teach your children not to answer any text messages, phone calls or voice messages from anyone that they don't know.

If the caller asks them for their name, then that is a stranger and they need to immediately report any unusual activity to you.


Technology is wonderful and our children and grandchildren are the fortunate ones who will be able to see how it changes the future.


If you would like to learn more check out the my resources on CyberSafeSenior.com

Internet Connected Toys- Are They worth the RISK? (YouTube Video)

Why is Privacy Important? (PodCast)

#CyberSafeSenior #BeSeniorSmart #ChildrensSmartWatches


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