How to protect your child when playing with trendy wirelessly connected toys?
The recent news are full of toys that’s use wireless connections having vulnerabilities and being at risk of being hacked.
Take for example Vtech’s tablets and Hello Barbie toys. And that’s just the beginning… Black hat hackers know which buttons are easiest to push. Those toys ask parents to create personalized profiles for their children. More and more of such toys are coming onto the market and demand is growing. Children like to enjoy their toys including all the features, that’s what they are made for after all. The speed at which this tech is developing means more and more toy brands will offer internet connection as default.
Children share and announce a lot of personal information on Facebook or other social networks without any hesitation and have no fear that their personal data could be stolen or used against them one day. Having this feeling of being on “the safe side”, never having experienced any personal data breach online before, kids willingly share everything – including birth dates and other important personal details online. And off course, you have to if you want to be entertained well from your new personal toy. Even if you have never experienced getting hacked or having your account high-jacked, it doesn’t mean that you will never face that.
Here are some tips for parents on how to protect your kids’ information and your own personal data online:
Make sure that the all payments are done on a separate website held preferably by an outside company. Check the official website, ask questions to the customer support of the toy company. This is needed for credit-card or other financial account information security, to avoid it being breached. A bank is usually harder to hack than a small retailer’s website. As in VTech’s case, no financial information was exposed due to the fact that payments were processed using an outside company.
2. Voice recognition
If the toy has voice recognition options, make sure your kid uses it, voice is something that cannot be faked so easily. Be careful with voice recordings that are saved – it’s hard to imagine, but any footprint can cause a problem in the future if stolen. Those who care about their security a bit more are less vulnerable and are usually not attacked, as a black hat hacker is eager to take what’s “open”, which means vulnerable.
3. Sharing information
You have to think about the importance of the information and personal data you’re are going to share or let your kid share against the risk of having it high-jacked.
4. Social Networks
Make sure before posting pictures of any school events, family outings or other pictures on Facebook or any other social network that it goes to friends and family only. Check your privacy settings.
There is no way to be 100% secure, but you can do your part to make sure your house is a little safer.
If while talking to your kids about these vulnerabilities you find out there is an interest in the field of IT Security, then why not recommend this as a career path?
Companies are hiring IT Security experts and penetration testers en masse right now, paying big amounts of money to keep their data safe, to find and close vulnerabilities. Toy companies will hopefully soon follow suit, and have their own IT Security professionals to make new toys more secure. Currently 30%-40% of all IT Security positions can’t be filled since there are not enough qualified candidates. What other category has such a good future outlook?
We do offer a beginner’s course for everyone interested in the field of IT Security, called Penetration Testing Professional – or PTS. You can get a demo here:
PENETRATION TESTING STUDENT – DEMO
These courses are for young students to secure their and their parents private information and to obtain a well-paid future career of a Penetration Tester. The student becomes a real professional training practically a lot and passing the exam and be certified in a specification he chose.
Invest in your child wisely!
Find out about the Christmas Gift for Students enrolling this year: