Christmas is a time to be together, it is a time for family & giving. Millions of children worldwide will wake up Christmas morning to new and exciting toys. And, with every Christmas, comes the latest and greatest in technology and toys.
With the rapidly changing technology landscape, these toys can present an opportunity for a person to use these toys to infiltrate your home and compromise your privacy and security. Many of these toys will have capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, internal memory, and the ability to capture video and audio. So how can you ensure that you and your loved ones are safe at this time of year?
The following checklist can go a long way to helping you and your family be as safe as possible:
- If new toys require the downloading of an application to a device to unlock all its features, make sure the device / phone / tablet you are using has the latest operating system or upgrade installed. These upgrades often include security patches which can ensure your device the best protection.
- Ensure the device you are using the application on has a password itself. If this device was lost or stolen, users may be able to access the features of the toy from other locations without your knowledge.
- If you need to create a username and password, make sure the password is not one you use for other accounts or apps like banking. Smaller companies may not have the security features as larger ones, and if the account and password were compromised, the password may be attempted on other applications.
- If you need to sign up for an account with an email address to utilise the application, consider creating a new and separate account. If this account’s security is compromised, it may limit the damage caused.
- Consider what the application needs to access on your phone. Applications may require use of the camera, microphone or GPS location. Consider if these requests are actually required for the toy. Would a toy that records audio need to access your GPS location? Probably not!
- If you are unsure about what the toy does or how it works, research it online. If you are at all worried about the giver of the present, or their intentions (such as an ex partner giving you or your children a toy bear that records video and audio), consider where it is used and how it may be used maliciously.
- If you no longer use the toy or the application, uninstall it. Do not leave applications idle on your phone / tablet / computer if they are no longer required. Not only do they take up space, but they may be compromised in the future and create a way into your device.
Christmas is a time of fun and joy, and nothing should get in the way of that. But being mindful of the security of your devices and information shouldn’t take a holiday, even if you do!
If you have any questions about the security of your devices, or if you think you are being watched or listened to, we can help. We have a range of TSCM services to ensure the safety and security of your home, office or devices.
Merry Christmas from the team at Precision Integrity.