CARU Offers Safety Tips for Parents Buying Connected Toys



Many parents will be buying their children smart toys this holiday season and while these toys can be fun, an article by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) in the Better Business Bureau is warning they could also put the family at risk unless care is taken when using these devices.

The article includes safety tips from CARU which is seeing an increase in the number of toys collecting personal information such as email addresses and names from children. Often this may be done without their parent’s knowledge, even when parental permission should be required. CARU isn’t saying these toys are bad, as far from it. Many can be very educational, but the parents need to be fully informed and must choose their child’s devices carefully. CARU has outlined some easy tips for parents to help keep kids safe this holiday.

They recommend researching the product before you buy as important information may not be visible on the box. It’s worth searching for online reviews as this may uncover potential security concerns. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is designed to protect children’s personal information. Companies must post privacy policies describing how personal information is collected from children and how it is used. This also applies to other companies working with the manufacturer and who may also receive personal information from the device. Reading the privacy policy is also highly recommended! This should detail parental rights, who has access to data, a list of who is collecting the personal information and what kind of information is collected and how it’s used. It’s also important to consider how the personal information is stored. Parental rights are substantial as privacy policies should give parents the chance to review their child’s information and if necessary delete it. It should also provide the opportunity to agree to the collection of this data but without it being disclosed to third parties.

When a child is bought a smart device, the article suggests using this as an opportunity to teach the child about online security and the importance of safeguarding personal information. Parents can then encourage children to speak up if they encounter something that doesn’t seem quite right. Smart toys should only be connected to password protected Wi-Fi or on a virtual private network. Public connections could provide easy access to smart toys, especially if these have security flaws.

The article has much more information on keeping children safe while they enjoy their smart toys. To read it, click here.

Allison Halliday About Allison Halliday

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.

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