BBB talks GPS watches, hackers and Halloween

The Better Business Bureau said these watches can give parents peace of mind, but there are dangers to watch for.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 6:03 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With GPS-connected smart watches becoming more and more popular with parents, some parents may be relying on them to track their kids this Halloween as they go out and trick-or-treat. However, there are a few things you should know first.

The Better Business Bureau said these watches can give parents peace of mind, but there are dangers to watch for.

"There is a high degree in hacking with the watches. The security is not very stong,” said Danielle Kane with the Better Business Bureau.

The $4.8 billion smart watch industry is expected to double within the next four years. This technology can help parents by delivering alerts when their kids leave a designated area, listen in on their conversations and view their locations in real time. But parents also need to beware of the potential risks, Kane said.

Kane also said it is not just the watches that can be a risk.

“I think it is important for parents to know that these types of technologies have problems, and it is not just the watches, it can be video games, Youtube. It is something parents need to look out for,” Kane said.

The BBB recommends the following tips to protect kids using smart watches and any other internet and GPS-connected devices:

  • Check for a privacy policy. Children’s privacy laws require that online devices marketed to kids include a privacy policy. If you can’t find one, then find another device.
  • Give approval. Parental approval is needed before an online device that targets kids can begin collecting their data. Parents who suspect their kids’ information has been taken without their consent should contact to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Keep devices current. Downloading and installing the most up-to-date software available can help fix bugs and halt privacy issues on devices that users may not even know exist.

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