Parents take advantage of wearable IoT devices, such as smartwatches to keep an eye on their children. At the same time, these IoT devices also provide kids the independence and connectivity on daily basis.
However, before purchasing a smartwatch for your child, ensure that this smart device and its applications are safe and protected against malicious actors.
Recently, cybersecurity researchers at the Norwegian Consumer Council disclosed their findings on few kids’ smartwatches. It was announced a number of vulnerabilities that may have an impact on your kid’s privacy and security.
The report gives information about these security exposures which used by attackers allows them to track the locations, monitor voice messages, and steal PII.
Three smart watches designed for kids were investigated. The first had a database of 350,000 users, and the rest are branded products available worldwide.
According to researchers, a hacker has an ability to “take control of the watch and track, eavesdrop on, and communicate with the child. They will be able to track the child as it moves or makes it look like the child is somewhere it is not. Some of the data is transmitted and stored without encryption.”
According to the report, after investigation, one of the devices was found to be relatively bad at SOS and whitelisting calling features. The location changing notifications were also unreliable.
When it comes to secure applications, researchers found that some apps didn’t even have an End User License Agreement (EULA), terms and conditions, and even personal data act.
Undeniably, technologies are changing how people, especially millennials interact. It is worth mentioning that even though IoT devices bring us conveniences on a day-to-day basis, with them also comes security threats.
Parents should balance the use of technology and its convenience in communication, and learn and the importance of protection and security.
So if you think or already bought your child a smart device, here are some tips on how to use the IoT device safely:
- Teach kids about online safety;
- Apply practices on safety;
- Research the smart device before purchasing;
- Enable security and privacy settings;
- Evaluate device’s ways of handling and processing PII;
After the study was publicized, the consumer group informed Norwegian Data Protection Authority (NDPA) about the findings. The institution also provided the information to the smartwatches’ producers and manufacturers. According to them, some of the vulnerabilities have already been patched and companies are still working in order to improve smart devices’ security.