Connected toys and what you need to know about them

Written by a NortonLifeLock employee


The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just some lofty concept about future integration of technology into the home. It is already here, and we’re already living it. It’s predicted that, within the next 10 years, your house will have a minimum of 10 active IoT devices.

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For children today, IoT isn’t a brave new world. It’s the reality they have come to know. A recent study concluded that 90 percent of kids under the age of two know how to use a tablet or smartphone.

Benefits of Modern Technology

These digital toys and devices come with a lot of benefits for youngsters. Baby monitors with built-in cameras allow you to keep an eye on your child from anywhere and GPS trackers help you find lost tots. Teddy the Guardian is an interactive toy with a vital signs sensor that enables you to check your kid’s temperature and heart rate instantly.

Other tech-savvy playthings give kids access to early education. Being digital natives, today’s children are more expressive, creative, independent, worldly, productive, and are more likely to be actively involved.

Negative Effects on Children’s Development

Reaching for a tablet before reaching for a book could hinder a child’s development. Doctors advise that kids under the age of two should not be allowed to look at screens for too long because it might harm their memory, language development, and reading ability.

Heightened Risks with Constant Connectivity

Though a more connected world introduces many perks, there are also heightened risk factors regarding your child’s privacy. With today’s toys being connected to the Internet, online hackers and other cyber criminals enjoy a clear pathway to personal information.

Protecting Your Children

One of the most important things you can do to protect your kids is have a conversation with them about potential risks on the Internet. Talk to your child about never giving out personal information to people online or posting sensitive data on social media.

Keep a close eye on kids’ online activity. Ensure that you have access to all of their social networking sites, emails, and browser histories.

Make sure all passwords on every connected toy and device are complicated and tough to crack. A good way to do this is to include upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in the password and change it every three months.

Keep your Wi-Fi connection password protected and download the latest firmware software. Never let your child access the web from an unsecure Bluetooth or Wi-Fi line.

As a parent, it is your job to protect your kids, both online and off. While IoT toys come with many advantages, they can also make your child’s personal information vulnerable. Be aware, be educated, and be involved.

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