Australia’s eSafety commissioner is warning parents to be vigilant about introducing “smart toys” into the family this Christmas.

Julie Inman Grant says while internet-connected toys can offer many benefits through interactive play and education, it’s important parents be aware of potential privacy and security risks, reports news.com.au.

The comments come after a recent poll suggested Australian parents are divided about buying their children web-enabled Christmas gifts.

“Ultimately, parents are the frontline of defence against any risk their children can be exposed to online, so remaining engaged in their online lives just as they are offline is integral,” Ms Inman Grant told AAP in a statement.

The eSafety commissioner suggested parents check how devices store and use kids’ information, set strong passwords to secure accounts and refrain from linking their location or sensitive data with others.

Users should also install the latest security and software updates and manually deactivate unnecessary functions like recording capabilities, Ms Inman Grant said.

A recent poll of 1035 Australian parents suggested half were planning to buy smart devices and toys for kids this Christmas.

At the same time, the poll commissioned by Norton said 50 per cent of parents were set to ask friends and relatives to not buy such devices for their children.

Read more: What you need to know before buying google home

Share your comments below

  • Parents also need to consider physical safety. Children holding their heads down too much. It effects your head, neck and upper back. It may not be obvious immediately.


  • The parents just buy what the children want without a thought these days. Things must change and parents become the controlling person in future.


  • Remaining engaged in their online lives is important indeed.


  • As long as you update and have good security you should be fine.


  • I plan to avoid these – many ave very poor security.


  • I find it quite disturbing to see so many young kids always on the tablet, iPod or game console!


  • I won’t be getting my son anything like this for a long time! we survived as kids without them, and they are getting way too addictive in kids!it’s scary really


  • We will be avoiding these smart toys for as long as possible.


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