DENVER (CBS4) – The FBI shared a warning this week about smart toys with high-tech components, and parents in Denver agree there is cause for concern.
Some of the toys can connect to the internet, and they could put your privacy at risk. The FBI’s consumer notice states:
The FBI encourages consumers to consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments. Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviors based on user interactions. These toys typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities – including speech recognition and GPS options. These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.
MORE FROM FBI INTERNET CRIME COMPLAINT CENTER: Consumer Notice: Internet-Connected Toys Could Present Privacy And Contact Concerns For Children
“It is something that I would put some consideration into,” one dad told CBS4 on Wednesday.
“I’ve always had it on my mind. I cover the camera on my computer and my iPad because I heard a long time ago people can hijack that,” another parent told CBS4.
Security experts have long warned of the threat. CBS4 interviewed Dale Drew, Chief Security Officer at Level 3 Communications, last year about the issue.
“Bad guys are getting access to home-based cameras,” Drew said.
The FBI’s consumer alert comes as more and more toys are come with advanced technology. The bureau says their are a number of ways to protect against unwanted access, including strong passwords, entering limited information and making sure the device is off when not in use.
It’s something parents say they’ll keep in mind the next time they shop for their children.
“I hate to think about it … nobody wants to think someone’s spying on your kid but yeah, absolutely,” said a Denver father.
If you think your child’s toy may have been hacked, the FBI says you should visit their Internet Crime Complaint Center for direction.