Only 45% Of Consumers Take Proper Measures To Protect Their Gadgets: McAfee

According to McAfee, smart home products, streaming sticks, drones, are devices which are most vulnerable.

 

Today Intel Security announced its second-annual ‘McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts’ list to identify potential security risks associated with hot-ticket items this holiday season. With 80% of consumers who are likely to holiday shop this year, it should also be noted, that the study pointed to the fact that 85% users admitted to start using connected devices the day they receive the same, only 45% claim to have taken appropriate security measures. According to this study, the most hackable category of gifts include laptops and PCs, followed by smartphones and tablets, media players, streaming sticks, smart-home automation products, and drones. Intel Security also happened to reveal the risky behavior of consumers have been indulging in, the holiday season, and then educating them, of ways to protect themselves.

Today’s digital world is changing fast, and our reliance on the internet is ever increasing. The recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was carried out by a botnet made up of unsecured webcams and other internet of things (IoT) devices, and crippled many popular websites connected to the Dyn domain. It’s important that consumers understand they can help fight these attacks by ensuring their devices are updated and patched, which helps mitigate risks from the latest threats.

Gary Davis, the Chief Consumer Security Evangelist said, “Unsurprisingly, connected devices remain high on holiday wish lists this year. What is alarming is that consumers remain unaware of what behaviors pose a security risk when it comes to new devices.” He then added, “Consumers are often eager to use their new gadget as soon as they get it and forgo ensuring that their device is properly secured. Cybercriminals could use this lack of attention as an inroad to gather personal consumer data, exposing consumers to malware or identity theft or even use unsecured devices to launch DDoS attacks as in the recent Dyn attack.”

While a majority of consumers are aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops (73 percent), mobile phones (70 percent) and tablets (69 percent), they lack awareness about the potential risks associated with emerging connected devices, such as drones (20 percent), children’s toys (21 percent), virtual reality tech (18 percent), and pet gifts (11 percent). As technology continues to evolve, it is essential consumers  understand the risks associated with even the most unassuming devices. While 75 percent of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, nearly half are uncertain if they are taking the proper security steps.     

Intel Security has thus issued some of the basic tips for maintaining one’s security in the cyber world:

· Secure your device. Your device is the key to controlling your home and your personal information. Make sure you have comprehensive security software installed.

· Only use secure Wi-Fi. Using your devices, such as your smart home applications, on public Wi-Fi could leave you and your home open to risk.

· Keep software is up-to-date. Apply patches as they are released from the manufacturer. Install manufacturer updates right away to ensure that your device is protected from the latest known threats.

· Use a strong password or PIN. If your device supports it, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) as it can include factors like a trusted device, your face, fingerprint, etc. to make your login more secure.

· Check before you click. Be suspicious of links from people you do not know and always use internet security software to stay protected. Hover over the link to find a full URL of the link’s destination in the lower corner of your browser.


TAGS: McAfee, Intel Security, Data Breach

 

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