Cyber security expert: High-tech toys could put children at risk

If your child has asked for a high-tech toy from Santa, you may want to pay attention to a few key things to keep their identities safe.

Kids who play with the Nitro Circus are encouraged to download an app and share their stunts with the toy with other kids, but adults are easily able to tap in and watch videos that children put together for each other.

"The danger comes in with the app that you download on your phone because you give it to your child, you allow them to film any type of video that they want. Maybe they're sharing their names. Maybe they're sharing their faces. Tat's information you don't want to expose online because anybody can download the app," said David Derigiotis a cyber risk expert at Burns & Wilcox.

He said a watch with a camera on it or a kids tablet can collect information for voyeurs to look at. As if that's not bad enough, the bad guys may be using it to steal their identities.
"With children we are starting at a much earlier age. So their names, their dates of birth, where they go to school, their likes, their interests, biometric information. It could be their voice recordings, it could be videos of them. That information, if it falls into the wrong hands, it starts a profile on them from such a early age," he said.

Which toys should you be especially careful with? Anything that uses Wi-Fi and cameras. The little things they say when they're talking, where they live, where they go to school, their names -- all of it can be used against them.

"It could be any device that a child uses. Any type of toy that collects information on them, sends it to the cloud, shares it with the manufacturer. It could be tablets, it could be cameras, watches, it could be toys that they connect to an app and that app collects information," said Derigiotis.

If any toys like this are on your child's wish list this Christmas, pay attention to the Wi-Fi they connect to. If it's at a public place or at home with an unsecured network, every picture they take and word they say can be found by the bad guys.

"There are criminals that go on there and they create fake hotspots so that you think you're connecting to the Starbucks or McDonalds or whatever it may be, but it's really them who generated that Wi-Fi so you're giving all the information -- everything that you're doing online -- to them," said Derigiotis.

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