Parents Beware: VTech Database Hacked – Personal Info Of 5 Million Customers Leaked!

Hong Kong-based children’s technology company VTech has revealed that personal information of 5 million of its customers — including their children — may have been compromised by hackers. Late last week, VTech disclosed the news of their customer data being stolen, but they did not state until Monday just how many people could be affected.

This comes in light of holiday shopping going in full throttle, with kid’s smartwatches and tablets made by companies like VTech being expected to be high on children’s wish lists. VTech’s InnoTab tablets have been popular with kids in the past, but their Kidizoom Smartwatch in particular is predicted to be a big hit this holiday season.

The stolen customer information from the VTech database includes names, birth dates, and genders of child users. Additionally, it includes adult user information such as names, email addresses, passwords, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, mailing addresses, and download histories.

According to VTech, not included in the affected database are credit card numbers or personal identification information, like Social Security or driver’s license numbers; affected are customers from the US and fifteen other countries. Through a spokeswoman, the company declined to release any further comments beyond their official statement.

The breach itself took place on November 14. Discovered ten days later, it involved customer data stored on VTech’s Learning Lodge app store database. Learning Lodge allows users to download apps, games, e-books, and other content for VTech products.

VTech Holdings Ltd. stated it has contacted all affected users via email and has temporarily shut down its Learning Lodge website — along with several others — as a precaution. The company is investigating the breach and is currently working towards the prevention of another hacking happening in the future.

The incident is a clear example of how personal information can be easily compromised. It serves as a reminder to parents to be careful about the information — especially information about their children — they share and include in Internet-connected devices. Kid-friendly smartwatches and tablets may block a child’s access to most of the Internet, but they are still potential targets for hackers.

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Regina is a Fine Arts graduate who expresses herself through various mediums. She finds amusement in pop culture, enjoys video games, and watches way too many YouTube videos on a daily basis.