Most hackable gifts this holiday season - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Most hackable gifts this holiday season

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The hottest gadgets of the season are out for the taking and so is the data that's being collected.

"Information is the value for hackers," said WPTV Internet Security Expert Alan Crowetz, with www.Infostream.cc. 

Crowetz says seemingly harmless gifts, like a smart watch or a fit bit, can be a target. 

"These devices now are getting smarter and smarter. So does this track your location? Does this track when you leave the house? What kind of things is this recording? Who is getting this?" questioned Crowetz.

The recent hack of VTech toys compromised personal information of millions of children who use the tablets to play games. Crowetz says more toys for children are becoming vulnerable. 

"All this stuff that we never thought about before is happening with these new toys and honestly these companies that are making the toys, they don't know what they're doing with security," added Crowetz.

It's got Elaine Cherkas narrowing down some of her shopping list for her grandkids this holiday season.

"Now you hear everything on the news, you never know," said Cherkas. 

She's buying a few toys that record her grandchildren's voices and play them back. Innocent enough right? Crowetz says it's also a security risk. 

"They said hey we can listen to what the child says and say their name back, we can ask them their favorite color and then record that which by the way is being sent back to the headquarters and they're recording this information and the toy is genius it talks back to the child, it learns from the child, the problem is it has almost no security," said Crowetz.

Crowetz suggests researching the toy company or toy's privacy and security settings before purchasing. He also says it's important to turn of the Bluetooth feature on your devices when it's not in use. Another good tip is to always use different passwords for each device. 

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