BBB Safety Tips for Parents Buying Smart and Connected Toys this Holiday Season

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Internet-connected toys can be fun but they can also put your family at risk if proper care is not taken when buying and using these devices.

Teddy bears once filled with stuffing are now hard-wired with smart technology. Internet-connected toys can be fun but they can also put your family at risk if proper care is not taken when buying and using these devices.

Now, more than ever before, The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) encounters toys that may collect personal information (e.g. name, email address) from children. Unfortunately, this may be done without parents knowing it’s happening. Much like many offline experiences where parent’s permission is required before collecting or using your child’s information, the online world is the same: parental permission is required! These connected toys aren’t inherently bad; in fact, they can be highly educational and fun as long as parents are well-informed and choose wisely. But if you choose the wrong toy, there can be consequences (check out our issues we had with a recent smart toy here)

Santa checks his list twice and responsible parents should too -- you may be surprised to find that with some toys, privacy is not included. Don’t let your children’s smart toys outsmart you, ‘tis the season for parents to do their Ho-Ho-Homework before bringing a smart toy home.

Read CARU’s tips to help your family have a safe holiday season with smart toys on BBB.org.

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, journalists for national media outlets should contact Katherine Hutt (212-705-0131 or khutt@council.bbb.org). Journalists for local media outlets should contact their regional spokesperson (bbb.org/bbb-locator).

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Katherine Hutt
Council of Better Business Bureaus
+1 (703) 247-9345
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