Jimmy Patronis Offers Warnings for Holiday Shoppers About Electronic Toys for Children

After recent reports of hackers using technology to talk to children, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued a warning on Tuesday to those making purchases for kids this holiday season, urging them to know the risks when gifting electronic toys, especially those that can be connected to the Internet.

“Smart toys are often on the top of children’s holiday lists, but technology opens up your home and family to real vulnerabilities. The FBI has warned that Internet-connected toys can be hacked, so make sure you are well informed of the risks when gifting electronics to kids or installing electronic devices in your home. The top way to keep your children safe is to closely monitor their activities, whether it be online or in person,” Patronis said on Tuesday.

Patronis offered the following tips for holiday shoppers:

  • Know all the features – Ensure that you know all the electronic features of your child’s new gadget. Does it connect to the Internet? Does it have a camera or microphone? These are top questions to ask when purchasing.
  • Always use caution if the device or toy:
    • Connects to the internet via either WiFi or Bluetooth,
    • Contains a microphone or other recording device,
    • Utilizes any cameras, or Connects to mobile apps or GPS.
  • Closely monitor your child’s activity – Always keep a close eye on your children, especially when they are using products connected to the Internet.

 

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