What are they?
You might have heard the term, The Internet of Things. It simply describes devices or toys that are connected to the internet via WiFi, Bluetooth or a connection using a USB cable. These internet-connected devices can also connect to each other. There are robots, talking toys, connected action figures and dolls and more...
- Bluetooth-enabled toys or tablets
- Robotic toys such as drones, andlearning development toys
- smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo
- wearables, such as Fitbit and Apple Watch
- smart meters measuring household energy consumption
- toys with voice or image recognition, such as Hello BarbieTM and Furby Connect
- robots, drones and other mechanical toys, controlled via an app, such as Dash and Dot
- smart TVs
- smart appliances n smart doorbells.
Internet connected devices can send and receive data, respond to voice commands and be controlled remotely using a smartphone app.
What are the risks of internet connected devices?
Like smartphones and tablets, these connected devices come with risks if they are not set up properly.
- other people might be able to access the device and content without you knowing such as a child’s GPS activity tracker
- you may not be aware that someone is connected to your device, but it is possible that hackers can see your content
- baby monitors, children’s tablets and even remote-control helicopters or drone toys, can be hacked and used by people outside of your home. Rare cases have involved people monitoring or talking to a child via a baby monitor for example
- Internet connected devices can collect personal data, including audio and visual data
What should parents do?
Default settings might include GPS location tracking, public WiFi and camera or chat access. Turn these off so your child can’t
be identified. Always check device privacy settings and make sure they’re switched on.
You need to download an app to use most internet-connected toys or devices. Check the privacy settings and permissions of any apps or products you download.