Posted: Robert Siciliano | January 14, 2016

News

Hackers Don't Play Well with Kids' Toys

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No company is immune from hackers-even a toy company. Hong Kong based VTech got hit by a hacker recently. This company makes techy educational toys for kids, and its database got breached.

Customers go to the Learning Lodge store and download content to their children's VTech devices. The devices for downloading to are a tablet, watch and action camera.

But recently, this gateway store was attacked.

Some customers' private information-now in the hands of the hacker-may put them at risk for being victims of identity theft or even a crime against their children. The customer database is comprised of people from many countries including the U.S., UK, Canada, China, Latin America, France and Australia.

The hacker anonymously contacted the company to reveal what was stolen: customers' names, their kids' names and birthdates, passwords, e-mail addresses, IP addresses, home addresses and even their secret question. And we all know that hackers have been known to find the answer to a secret question by perusing the potential victim's Facebook posts!

At least credit card information wasn't leaked.

But imagine how unnerving it is to know that someone out there has your mailing address, IP address, children's names and birthdates. Oh, and it doesn't stop there. The hacker revealed that photos of kids were also leaked.

Customers were notified and since, VTech has made changes to the attacked website in the name of preventing another breach, though it's not publically known what those changes were.

Many toys and gadgets for kids are connected to the Internet. But don't let fear of data breaches stop you from buying educational devices for your kids. Today's connected toys offer a whole new educational experience.

  • Google the gadget to see if it was ever hacked or has "vulnerabilities."
  • Immediately scan the product once purchased.
  • The toy should be connected only to a secure Wi-Fi network.
  • Keep its software and firmware updated regularly.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

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