Mozilla assesses the security of this season’s IoT gifts

Mozilla has released the 2018 edition of its 'Privacy Not Included' guide which assesses the security of IoT gifts this festive season.

The guide breaks down whether each device is safe and can be trusted, especially when it comes to gifts designed for children.

We’ve already seen things such as connected teddy bears being hacked. Mozilla is warning people to steer clear of the Fredi Baby Monitor citing its lack of encryption, use of the default password ‘123’, no privacy policy, and it’s been hacked in the past.

Of the 18 products in the Toys & Games area of the guide, just five gadgets meet Mozilla’s “minimum standards” to gain its seal of approval.

The five products meeting the company’s minimum standards are the Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PS4, the Amazon Fire ‘Kids Edition’, and the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit.

Six of 14 wearables gain the seal – the Fitbit Charge 3, Versa, Ionic, Athena Safety, Apple Watch 4, and Samsung Gear Sport. Interestingly, the Apple AirPods did not meet the minimum standard.

In the ‘Smart Home’ section, 11 of 20 products meet Mozilla’s standard. The most interesting is the Google Home which many have expressed an inherent distrust of due to the company’s primary revenue relying on people’s data. No products by Google subsidiary Nest passed the test, however.

Nest’s apparent shortcoming is that it doesn’t rely on password-based authentication. The products are relatively secure otherwise – being part of Google’s “bug bounty” initiative, uses encryption, doesn’t share data with third-parties, and offers automatic security updates.

To gain a minimum seal of approval, Mozilla tested each product against various tests – whether it can spy on its user, things such as the use of encryption, data-sharing, and supporting privacy policies.

Site visitors can rate the products on a scale between “Not creepy” and “Super creepy”.

You can view the ratings of the products, or just gain some Christmas gift ideas, here.

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