‘Trouble in Toyland’: The dangers of high-tech, connected toys

Toys can be used to eavesdrop or lead to unauthorized access to children through an un-secure connection -- which means someone you don't know could be having conversations you aren't aware of with your kids.

As the size of technology gets smaller, so does the size of its users.

Over the last five years, profits from digitally connected devices jumped from $2 billion to $11 billion.

This goes beyond the Teddy Ruxpin and Tama-gotchi -- to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled dolls and karaoke machines, which means more microphones, cameras and motion sensors in playrooms.

The concern is that, if hacked, toys can be used to eavesdrop or lead to unauthorized access to children through an unsecure connection, which means someone you don’t know could be having conversations you aren’t aware of with your kids.

Like anything that involves going online, there is the possibility of a security or data breach.

In 2015, V-tech was the target of the largest hack of children’s data.

The names, birthdays and genders of more than 6 million children were exposed.

In some cases, the children’s photos and voice recordings were also stolen.

While there are benefits to learning from these devices, child development researchers caution against too much time with connected devices -- even those without screens, since many of these toys are pre-programmed, which could limit a child’s curiosity.