Smart toys are becoming more and more popular, but at the same time they carry potential cybersecurity risks. A cybersecurity expert from WithSecure draws attention to the need for a conscious approach by parents to the use of smart gadgets. In order to minimize the risk associated with the use of smart toys, there are several important recommendations that parents should pay attention to.
First of all, before buying a smart toy, it is worth getting acquainted with its functions. This will help in choosing the right gift, taking into account the age and needs of the child, as well as identify potential risks associated with a given gadget.
Next, it’s important to adjust your privacy settings. It’s worth turning off unnecessary features, such as the camera and microphone, if they are not necessary for fun. If possible, block the toy’s access to the Internet and turn off Bluetooth connectivity with other devices. It’s also important to avoid giving out sensitive information such as your child’s age or gender. You should always carefully read the regulations of applications related to the toy and consider whether it is necessary to set up a user account or register in the manufacturer’s system.
An important aspect is also the use of strong and unique passwords for logging in applications related to the toy. Please ensure that your child does not set up a user account or configure settings without supervision.
Regular software updates are key to ensuring optimal security. Regularly check and install available updates for all devices and smart toys to prevent exploitation of potential security vulnerabilities.
Home network security also plays an important role. It is necessary to ensure that the Wi-Fi network used by household members is secured with a strong password. It’s also a good idea to use the parental controls available on your devices to monitor what content and features your child has access to.
Considering creating a dedicated Wi-Fi network for smart devices may be a good solution. Thanks to this, you can provide Internet access for smart toys, while limiting access to other parts of the home network in which there are computers and phones.
It is also important that children play with smart toys only in the presence of a parent or guardian. Switch off toys when not in use to avoid potential hazards.
It is also extremely important to talk to your child about the risks of using the Internet. Explain to your child what information is sensitive and should not be shared with others. Also present the basic principles of privacy protection and what protection measures can be taken.
In addition, parents should be aware that some smart toys offer additional features that may require paid subscriptions to apps on a phone or tablet. It is worth paying attention to programs that require a subscription after the trial period, and may charge high fees for additional functionalities. Therefore, it is important that a child uses such features under appropriate adult supervision.
In conclusion, smart toys can be a great source of education and fun for children, but you should remember about the appropriate precautions. Adjusting your privacy settings, using strong passwords, regularly updating your software, and being aware of cybersecurity risks are key steps to help protect your children’s privacy and safety when using smart toys.