Hello, my name is Tina or Barbie, or Carla - If it's an IoT enable toy, you may want to reconsider!

There are less than 50-days before the all-time high of the year in toy purchases, “THE Holidays!” The first thing kids and grandkids ask when given a new toy is, “What does it do?”

Eons ago, I remember taking an old box and making it into whatever I could imagine. NO more… What does it do… is the operative phrase. However, as a parent, aunt, or giving adult, we should be asking, “What might this device expose to my child, niece, nephew, grandchild or neighbor?” As long ago as 6 months, the FBI was warning about “IoT” toys. Think first, then purchase. We as adults must protect our future generations. Read More: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/fbi-warns-parents-privacy-risks-internet-connected-toys-n784126

There is no greater gift than giving of oneself. It is a hard lesson to put into practice, especially when it comes to our children. We want to give them everything they want and more. We are bombarded with “wish lists” from various websites, advertising on-line, in stores, television, radio, newspapers (they still print these, don’t they?) and then just about everywhere else you can think of! It is so easy now to sit in front of your computer and just click and pay. No effort, no thought. And, that is one of the issues, no thought. How often have you actually thought about one of the IoT devices your child is begging for? How might it be used to ‘break into” your home? What might it be doing with the data? Where is it going? Who has access? Is there a camera that you may not know about embedded in it? Because we are working long hours, giving of ourselves seems to be the last choice. We’re tired. “There is not enough time in one day to do it all.” “Something has to give and I just can’t take it!” But, truly there is nothing better in life than sitting down with a child and watching the wonder in their eyes as you read one of those good ‘ol Christmas stories together.

The bottom line, just really understand what you are getting if you choose to purchase one of the IoT toys for this holiday and spend a bit of time researching things prior to making that purchase. To help you along in that research, read articles like this from the FBI: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/fbi-warns-parents-privacy-risks-internet-connected-toys-n784126

Written by Liz Fraumann November 2017