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Got a toy that can spy? Here’s how to know and what to do

FBI said said internet-connected toys with microphones, cameras or location tracking may put a child..

  • FBI said said internet-connected toys with microphones, cameras or location tracking may put a child's privacy or safety at risk
  • Experts say covering cameras and only connecting to secure wifi can help

By Associated Press

Published: 12:07 EST, 21 December 2017 | Updated: 16:24 EST, 21 December 2017

The toys your kids unwrap this Christmas could invite hackers into your home.

That Grinch-like warning comes from the FBI, which said earlier this year that toys connected to the internet could be a target for crooks who may listen in on conversations or use them to steal a child's personal information.

The bureau did not name any specific toys or brands, but it said any internet-connected toys with microphones, cameras or location tracking may put a child's privacy or safety at risk.

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Modern kids toys often include cameras, microsphones and other sensors - which hackers could be using to spy. Security experts said the only way to prevent a hack is to not keep the toy - but reveal how you can minimise risks

Modern kids toys often include cameras, microsphones and other sensors – which hackers could be using to spy. Security experts said the only way to prevent a hack is to not keep the toy – but reveal how you can minimise risks

That could be a talking doll or a tablet designed for kids.

And because some of the toys are being rushed to be made and sold, the FBI said security safeguards might be overlooked.

Security experts said the only way to prevent a hack is to not keep the toy.

But if you decide to let a kid play with it, there are ways to reduce the risks.

Below, some tips:

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

Before opening a toy, search for it online and read reviews to see if there are any complaints or past security problems.

If there have been previous issues, you may want to rethink keeping it.

Reputable companies will also explain how information is collected from the toy or device, how that data is stored and who has access to it.

Usually that type of information is found on the company's website, typically under its privacy policy.

If you can't find it, call the company. If there isn't a policy, that's a bad sign.

"You shouldn't use it," said Behnam Dayanim, a partner at Paul Hastings in Washington, and co-chair of the law firm's privacy and cybersecurity practice.

Companies can change their privacy policies, so read them again if you're notified of a change.

Shoppers browse at a Toys R Us store in Miami. The toys your kids unwrap this Christmas could invite hackers into your home, experts have warnedShoppers browse at a Toys R Us store in Miami. The toys your kids unwrap this Christmas could invite hackers into your home, experts have warned

Shoppers browse at a Toys R Us store in Miami. The toys your kids unwrap this Christmas could invite hackers into your home, experts have warned

USE SECURE WI-FI

Make sure the Wi-Fi the toy will be connected to is secure and has a hard-to-guess password.

Weak passwords make it easier for hackers to access devices that use the Wi-Fi. Network.

Never connect the toy to free Wi-Fi that's open to the public.

And if the toy itself allows you to create a password, do it.

POWER IT OFF

When the toy is not being used, shut it off or unplug it so it stops collecting data.

"They become less of an attractive target," said Alan Brill, who is a cybersecurity and investigations managing director at consulting firm Kroll in Secaucus, New Jersey.

And if the item has a camera, face it toward a wall or cover it with a piece of tape when it's not being used.

Toys with microphones can be thrown in a chest or drawer where it's harder to hear conversations, Brill said.

REGISTER, BUT DON'T GIVE AWAY INFO

A software update may fix security holes, and you don't want to miss that fix, says Brill.

But when registering, be stingy with the information you hand over; all they need is contact information to let you know about the update.

If they require other information, such as a child's birthday, make one up.

"You're not under oath," said Brill. "You can lie."

BE VIGILANT

If the toy or device allows kids to chat with other people playing with the same toy or game, explain to children that they can't give out personal information, said Liz Brown, a business law professor at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, who focuses on technology and privacy law.

Discussions are not enough: Check the chat section to make sure children aren't sending things they shouldn't be, Brown said.

People could be pretending to be kids to get personal information. "It can get creepy pretty fast," said Brown.

Reputable companies that make toys with microphones will offer ways for parents to review and delete stored information.

Take advantage of that.

REPORT BREACHES

If a toy was compromised by a hacker, the FBI recommends reporting it online through its internet crime complaint center at IC3.gov.

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Australia

Argonaut Resources directors show faith in company by participating in oversubscribed SPP

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP[hhmc]
The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money ..

Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) directors have demonstrated their faith in the company’s copper-zinc strategy by participating in the recently closed share purchase plan (SPP).

Independent non-executive chairman Patrick Elliot purchased more than 4.465 million shares at 0.55 cents per share in an indirect interest.

He now holds 5,876,159 shares in that interest with another 20,324,574 held in a separate indirect interest.

Independent non-executive chairman Malcolm Richmond acquired more than 5.454 million shares in a direct interest, increasing the number held in this interest to almost 15 million with another 1 million held in an indirect interest.

Overwhelming response to SPP


The company was overwhelmed by the response to its SPP which closed early and more than twice oversubscribed with the target subsequently increased to $2.5 million from $1.2 million.

Subscriptions in excess of $3 million were received and as a result, the SPP was closed with immediate effect.

Money raised under this SPP and from the recently completed $2.7 million share placeRead More – Source

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Strickland Metals shares jump 39% ahead of drilling base metal target near DeGrussa

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey[hhmc]
Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilomet..

Strickland Metals Ltd (ASX:STK) shares surged 39% today ahead of its maiden drilling program at the Doolgunna Project, which will include a diamond drilling program that is likely to begin by the end of this month.

As a part of the program, a minimum of four diamond holes will be drilled to a depth of 500 metres to test a VMS target similar to the nearby DeGrussa deposit of Sandfire Resources (ASX:SFR).

Heritage survey


Exploration activity has recommenced on the Doolgunna Project following completion of heritage surveys to allow land access to areas where the company wishes to complete exploration drilling.

The target for drilling is a compelling base metal prospect that exhibits geological characteristics that are interpreted to be similar to Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa deposit about 30 kilometres to the east of the project.

The prospect has a 3-kilometre-long electromagnetic conductor that lies below an outcropping copper-zinc gossan that has been mapped over a 1.2-kilometre strike.

Diamond core drilling


The company plans to start the diamond core drilling by the end of this month.

A multi-purpose drill rig has been contracted to enable the minimum planned program wRead More – Source

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Australia

Pan Asia Metals has positive discussions on plans for Thai lithium project

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions[hhmc]
Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Ng..

Pan Asia Metals Ltd (ASX:PAM) has had positive discussions with authorities in Phang Nga Province, Thailand, including the provincial government, for its Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAM has submitted a presentation covering all aspects of the project including methods of ongoing exploration, conceptual mining and concentrate production, and the potential for downstream value-adding industries in Phang Nga and Thailand.

The presentation and subsequent discussions were aimed at assisting Phang Nga Provincial Government in their considerations for the proposed mining and industrial development areas.

Provincial Government discussions


Pan Asia was recently invited by the chief executive officer of the Phang Nga Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO), a Phang Nga Provincial Government coordinating body, to represent PAM and the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

The meeting was also attended by the head of Phang Nga Provincial Industry along with the representatives of the Phang Nga Provincial Public Works and Town Planning Office.

Phang Nga Provincial Industry head has been appointed by the Phang Nga governor as chairman of the Phang Nga New Town Planning Committee.

During the meeting, the chairman of the committee conveyed its support for the Reung Kiet Lithium Project.

PAO wants to ensure that the requirements of the Reung Kiet project are incorporated into the town planning committee’s zoning plans to ensure that the project can progress once exploration and feasibility results prove positive.

“Can bring opportunities”


PAM managing director Paul Lock said: “We have been working hard in Phang Nga province and we are very happy with the positive reception that the Reung Kiet Lithium Project is receiving from the Phang Nga Provincial Government and surrounding communities.

“Reung Kiet is strategically located and based on peer feasibility work the project is positioned to potentially be one of the lowest-cost suppliers of lithium chemicals in the global peer group.

“This is a project that can bring substantial opportunities and value to Phang Nga and Thailand.”

Pan Asia is planning its second Reung Kiet drilling program with expectations that this will begin in the coming months following the conclusion of the current Khao Soon drilling program.

Potential cost curve leader


Reung Kiet is a hard rock project with lepidolite rich pegmatites chiefly composed of quartz, albite and lepidolite with minor cassiterite and tantalite as well as other accessory minerals including some rare earth.

Lepidolite does not require roasting and has a suite of by-products which are recoverable at the concentrator and processing stages of the flow sheet.

Peer feasibility work has Read More – Source

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