If you make use of any smart devices in your home or plan to get your children smart devices for Christmas, there are things you should know.
Educate yourself on what information will be collected by the device, how to set up privacy protocols, and understand how the device is secured against hackers and other threats.
Before You Buy
Most products offer privacy settings that allow you to change some of the settings. You can normally find the settings in an app that connects to the device, through the device itself, or on the companies website in your user profile. Check for any settings that are “on” by default and turn them off if you are not comfortable or if they pose a risk to you or your children’s data.
Setting Up and Maintaining Security for Kids
When you set up your smart devices, use strong passwords. If your child has a separate password, be sure theirs is strong as well. Do not use simple words or phrases that hackers can easily obtain. If the product offers additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication, take advantage of the extra protection.
For household devices, if it is possible to set up different profiles for your children, be sure to do that. By setting up different profiles, companies are more limited in what data they can collect. For instance, if your child has a Google assistant or Alexa device in their room, set up a profile for them and enable all of the security features you can.
It’s also important that you keep your software up to date. Companies frequently release security updates, and if your device software is not current the device may be susceptible to hackers and data breaches. Each time you update your devices, be sure to review the privacy policies again, and do so periodically regardless of updates are released.