VTech is a major toy manufacturer, and if you have children chances are they own at least one of their toys. In fact, it’s a pretty good bet that they do.
If your kids do own a VTech toy, you (and they) might also have accounts with the VTech Learning Lodge, an online repository for educational apps and games.
Well, the VTech Learning Lodge’s computers have been hacked, and if both you and your child have accounts there the hackers now have your child’s name, age, birth date and mailing address. That means if your family’s mailing address is also your physical address, the hackers now know where your child lives.
The problem with this breach isn’t necessarily that these particular hackers now have your child’s sensitive info. They apparently only hacked VTech’s system in order to demonstrate how poorly the servers had been secured.
Apparently the security on VTech’s servers is so lax that it’s virtually inconceivable that they haven’t already been hacked numerous times by other hackers whose motives are not as pure as the “Good Samaritan” hackers who informed VTech of this latest breach.
The real problem is there’s no way to know how many times VTech’s servers have been hacked before and what THOSE hackers might have in mind for the kids.
The possibilities for the hackers are virtually limitless. They could possibly use your kids’ personal information (name, age and birthdate) to eventually steal their identities. Even worse, if they wanted to they could easily track them down at their homes or schools.
The purpose of this post isn’t to scare you, but rather to warn you about the situation so you can take a few extra steps to protect your child.
At the very least I recommend changing any and all of your family’s personal information in your VTech accounts to something that’s fake. And if possible, you might want to delete the accounts entirely. At least those measures would prevent your child’s info from being stolen in the future.
And finally, I recommend teaching your kids how to avoid being abducted by strangers (something that you have probably already done anyway).
If you’re interested, you can read VTech’s disclosure about the hack right here.