Internet of Things

It’s important to be aware of technology, toys and internet safety. That’s because over the next few years, millions of objects will be connected to the internet. You might have already bought an internet-connected gift for your child, so it’s important to be aware of the potential risks.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things, sometimes called the IoT, refers to everyday objects that connect to the internet. Internet of Things devices can be activated using voice commands and can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app. Lots of these devices are also Bluetooth-enabled, meaning they are able to connect to nearby devices, without having to connect to the internet.

Internet of Things examples include:

  • Smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo
  • Wearables, such as Fitbit and Apple Watch
  • Smart meters measuring household energy consumption.

What is the Internet of Toys?

Along with the devices above, many toys now connect to the internet. This is sometimes referred to as the Internet of Toys. These products include:

  • Toys with voice and/or image recognition, such as Hello Barbi and Furby Connect
  • App-enabled robots, drones and other mechanical toys, such as Dash and Dot.

What are the risks of internet-connected devices?

Because IoT devices can feel unobtrusive in the home, you may not realise they pose the same security risks as more conventional devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This means you could be more relaxed about your security when using them. In reality, these devices collect personal data, often both audio and visual. These devices might also be vulnerable to hacking, as there are no safeguards or security standards for internet-connected objects.

 

Tips for keeping safe when using internet connected devices can be found here