And the Hello Barbie system has been found to be riddled with other security holes as well.
Mattel and ToyTalk have reportedly been very responsive to reports of security vulnerabilities and have rapidly addressed many or all of them. Here's the real takeaway from the security controversies around Hello Barbie: Because Barbie is an iconic brand, and because the toy is popular and is also being widely reported on, the product is getting massive scrutiny. Hello Barbie is an exception to how toy security is normally handled. So while the public is super concerned about Hello Barbie, and the companies involved have been impressively responsive to those concerns, thousands of other toys are coming out under the radar.
Those are the toys that pose real security threats. They're not being scrutinized like Hello Barbie, and the companies that make them aren't fixing the potential security problems. But you can take measures to protect your children and family against these new security threats. We've all heard the standard advice for consumers about the privacy and security of connected products.
For protecting children, I have three more tips you've probably never heard before. Many toys enable you to buy additional features, content, services or add-on products. When you pay with a credit card, you'll be required to provide a billing address and a delivery address, which are both usually your home address.
That information is usually lumped in there with the personal data the company stores about you and your child.
Where children are concerned, the home address is the single most dangerous bit of personal information. Instead of your home address, use a P. Think about it like this: If the data you have access to as a parent is protected only by a password, or is accessible online or over wireless, then hackers might be able to get access to that data as well.
We've reached a stage in the evolution of technology where consumers can buy and use sophisticated, connected products -- including toys -- that they never think of as computers. Take advantage of learning opportunities -- such as this week's Hour of Code event -- to help your children become tech savvy.
If you do that, your kids will be better equipped to think about the security risks for themselves. Understanding how something works is the best way to understand its weaknesses.
Smart and connected toys can be great for kids, but only if they protect the privacy of both parent and child. When toys are dangerous, it's because of culture, not the presence of technology. In fact, smart and connected toys are no different from any other consumer electronics gadget, in theory. The difference is that toy companies may be less likely to obsess over security than companies where technology is the main business.
Also, the parents and children who buy or use these toys tend to be thinking of the benefits of technology features without ever considering the risks. Don't let this happen to you and your family. Know the risks. Understand the technology involved, and be smart and informed about the new world of connected toys. Mike Elgan is a technology-obsessed journalist, author, blogger, podcaster and digital nomad. Learn more at his website: elgan. Here are the latest Insider stories. More Insider Sign Out. Sign In Register.
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Toys are dangerous. Standing at over two feet tall, the set features an interactive nursery, a research station, a real-working zip-line, a rope bridge and a secret cave. As kids press the discovery buttons in each area, they'll activate colourful lights, sounds, phrases, songs, and exciting actions. This doesn't seem to be on sale at any other UK retailers right now - so Smyths has the best price. These collectable figures, based on popular user-generated games, will bring the Roblox world to life. This particular set is exclusive to Smyths, so you won't find it anywhere else.
This small play set inside a push along giraffe allows children to add and take away cogs which spin round.
When you push the "Gearaffe" along, you can hear four sing-along songs and phrases about giraffes. Everyone loves a trip to the movies - and kids will enjoy acting out the fun at home with this My Little Pony set.
It includes an exclusive Juniper Montage doll, seats, and a popcorn machine which really pops, as well as lots of other little accessories. There are plenty of toy sales going on at this time of year, as retailers try to convince shoppers to spend their money before Christmas.
And Morrisons is doing buy one get one free on toys so parents can snap up bargain Christmas presents. Famous toy store Hamley's has also revealed its top toys for Christmas Sign in. All Football. Rhiannon Curry.
How to cut the cost of your shopping. Everyone loves a bargain - but how can you bag the best deals?