After recent alarming reports of hackers using technology to talk to children, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns those making purchases for kids this holiday season to know the risks when gifting electronic toys, especially those that can be connected to the internet.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “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.”
- 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.
About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).