It might be hard to believe that one of the world's most beloved children’s toys might have such a dastardly side; she might not cheating pensioners out of their savings or hacking government security, but she’s not far off.

Most people think that shredding your bank statements and taking a hammer to your old hard drives is enough to protect yourself from having your identity stolen, but that’s not the case.

Rural Action Derbyshire’s IT partner ESP has released an article that outlines those weak spots in your personal security that you might not be aware of. Perhaps the most shocking fact is that Mattel’s Hello Barbie, an interactive wifi-enabled doll that is basically a Siri with stiletto heels, can be hacked by thieves in order to steal not only personal information stored on the network but actually access the microphone utility to spy on families.

As mentioned, hard drives from old computers are particularly vulnerable when not wiped and disposed of properly. A lot of data from browsers store credit card details as well as passwords and visit history. USB stick or pen drives are equally unsafe if left, forgotten in the household junk drawer, and eventually tipped into a rubbish bin, ready to be discovered by a digital ne’er-do-well.

Wireless printers are a wonderful device for those amongst us who deplore the hassle of miles of trailing cables. The ease of bouncing a file from your iPhone to the physical page with only a few taps is a 21st-century delight, but unless they’re updated with the latest firmware, hackers can use them to spirit away everything you’ve ever sent to print.

Finally, we all love a new slick new smartphone, but many people change them every two years and merely toss the old one out; that’s a lot of personal data just lying around in landfills waiting for the morally corrupt to happen upon and use against you.

It’s not all doom and gloom; there are plenty of easy things you can do to protect yourself and your family from identity theft to ensure that that wayward Barbie isn’t listening in.

Read the full article on ESP’s website, These Everyday Objects Can Lead to Identity Theft (