A recent BBC news story by Technology correspondent Leo Kelion, which told of the hacking of a MiSafe children’s watch is a terrifying example of how unsuitable and inferior software is being used in tracking watches.
This is why, with over 20 years’ experience in IT, the inventor of PiniT, Lee Watkins, had security as the top priority when designing the PiniT watch, which was launched in 2017. In direct response to the MiSafe story, Lee commented:
I am actually glad that this story came out, because it highlights the dangers of these watches when they are not made or maintained properly; something that has been – and remains – at the forefront of my PiniT watches.
The allegations against the MiSafe watches, which included the ‘hackers’(who were testing the security of the MiSafe purely out of curiosity) could retrieve private information about the child who was wearing the watch, and their parents, track the child’s movements, make spoof calls using the two-way call system, and change the settings of ‘safe zones’, came as no surprise to Lee, who invented the PiniT watch after his own personal experience of his child being abducted.
He continued: “companies such as MiSafe use Chinese software that they don’t understand and never update. In China, they actually release the codes that are used to set up the watches, so that parents can set up them up, but this means anyone else can get into the device. This is something that would never and could never happen to a PiniT watch.”
The security protocol that Lee uses for his PiniT software is vast and varied to ensure that the safety of a child and the private details of their parents can never be compromised. Firstly, the watches are set up so that no details of the device are ever released publicly nor privately (so cannot be intercepted).
Secondly, unlike the MiSafe, where hackers claim to have been able to obtain photos, names, addresses, ages, and even vital statistics of the child that was wearing a watch, with PiniT, none of this information is stored and therefore cannot be breached. Even parents’ information such as the telephone number that is linked to the watch and the telephone number of the watch (which was easily obtained in the case of MiSafe so that hackers could make bogus calls to the watch) is stored on a separate server that is protected by two separate fire walls, with any data in between encrypted (which wasn’t the case with MiSafe). Lee also explains that in the very unlikely event of one fire wall being attacked with the PiniT, as the owner and the inventor of the PiniT software, he would immediately be notified so could shut down the device and contact the parents immediately. Strong passwords are mandatory in all cases, SSL encrypted, and accounts will be locked after a set number of unsuccessful login attempts.
“With some of these tracking watches, there are too many opportunities – right from the set-up of the device – that allow hackers into the system. They may be looking for parents’ details when it comes to phone numbers or payment cards, but most frightening of all, they could be trying to follow or take a child. PiniT is totally different, in the fact that no information is stored in any place that a hacker could get into. And, when information is transferred from the child to the parent, via the watch, crucially it does not use the internet, but instead2G technology, which means that it is nowhere near the public domain. I worked tirelessly on the security of PiniT to make sure there are no chinks in its armour. PiniT as a company does not track a child. GPS data for a child is deleted every 30 days, and only stored for that amount of time in case, the Police may need it if a child goes missing. Data can be deleted immediately however, upon a parent’s request.”
Lee also explains that he hopes PiniT can help children experience the freedom to play outside and be independent in safety, without the trappings of social media that can curb a child’s ability to enjoy real life experiences.
He concludes: “for parents PiniT offers the peace of mind that their child is safe, and all mums and dads need that reassurance. For children, however, PiniT lets them have those rites of passage such as going to and from school with their friends, playing out, going to the cinema or into town, and not being stuck inside in front of a computer screen or video game. I use the term ‘learn and protect’ because children can only learn about life by living it, but they should also be protected from harm at all costs.”
To learn more about the security of PiniT, plus its many other features and benefits, and all up-to-date news and reviews, please go to www.pinit.co.uk. Inventor and owner of PiniT Lee Watkins will also be happy to answer any further questions about the device and its security via the email function of the website.