Safety at Home used to be simply making sure you had covers on your electrical outlets, your dressers were secure, and you didn't use any bedding in the crib. But now, with the advances in technology, Safety has taken on an even broader meaning.

Mothers of Multiples is focused on increasing awareness and exercising diligence in all areas of Safety At Home, including:

  • The Smart Home
  • Toys & Games That Connect
  • Child Identity Theft

The Smart Home

We're more connected than ever before, and while this seemingly makes life easier, it's making security more difficult. Many of us can't even think of living without our Webcams and our Internet-connected TVs - to get access to Disney Movies asap. And it's not just there, we're seeing convenience in Smart Washers, Dryers, and Refrigerators. In fact, one company recently launched the Smart Nursery utilizing sensors to to track your babies' every movement and monitor their vitals.

But with all this great technological convenience comes serious risk. Did you hear about the hackers who hacked into the webcam, screamed over the microphone and scared the $@%! out of the babies. Good thing they were wearing diapers!

How can I keep my family safe?

"Do I really need to have internet connected toys for my kids?" Here's an idea: go retro and institute Family Game Night. Think CandyLand, Dominoes, Jigsaw Puzzles, Charades. On the other hand, if you have older children, you may be virtually disowned if you don't head down the path of internet-connected toys. If you have a web-cam, you've already ventured down the path anyway.

Take precautionary measures. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my home network as secure as possible to begin with?
  • Have I changed the default passwords for my wifi routers?
  • Have I updated the patches on my wifi router so that its security is up to date?

If you haven't done even the basics, get secure. If you don't have the technological expertise, bring in an expert like HelloTech.com or Geek Squad (from www.bestbuy.com).

The Cool Toys - Toys & Games That Connect to the Internet

In this day and age, the more tech-heavy the gadget, the more appealing to our children. But, as parents, we must use discretion and practice diligence when selecting those cool, new toys.

If you can answer YES to any of these questions, exercise caution:
  • Is the device "listening" in on my children?
  • Can my child's location be tracked by an internet-connected toy?
  • Can the toy take or record video that could be shared (just like web-cams)?
  • Can a toy be used to hack into my home network and steal my information?
In addition to securing your home network, take the following precautions:
  • Don't give the "toy" your child's real name. Use a pet name instead.
  • Turn off the "wireless" capability of the toy when not in use.
  • Install a "toy" network that is separate and distinct, with the proper firewalls, from your home network.

Is Your Child's Identity Safe?

While your home network may seem like a good target for hackers, the more advanced ones are focusing on bigger picture opportunities: Hospital Records. They steal your children's identity and are counting on you not discovering it until your child is 18+ trying to get his or her first credit card.

As a parent, you ought to enroll your child in a credit monitoring service that requires you be contacted ANY TIME someone tries to open a credit account using your child's social security number.

Many companies provide this service. Google: Identity Theft Protection. Check with your bank, financial institution, insurance company or even your local AAA office. It's likely they have an offering as well.

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Mothers of Multiples Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Colorado

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