Survey: Security not key for connected device buyers

McAfee has published its third annual Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list to help consumers identify potential security risks associated with popular gifts this holiday season. The category of laptops, tablets and smartphones leads the list, followed by drones, digital assistants, connected toys, and connected appliances. In addition, McAfee conducted a survey to identify the habits and behaviours of consumers as they get ready for the holiday shopping season.

Most consumers agree that security is a necessity for laptops, tablets, and smartphones (69 per cent). However, only 22 per cent believe connected toys require security, 29 per cent believe drones should be protected, and 56 per cent think that digital assistants need to be secured.

“We continue to see connected devices high on holiday wish lists, but it’s clear consumers don’t always understand the importance of protecting devices at every point of connection and within products themselves,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “In many cases, consumers are simply unaware that their devices need to be protected or how to protect them. This lack of awareness and action can be exploited by cybercriminals to break into devices and steal personal information.”

Almost all consumers (91 per cent) claim that they know it is important to keep their online identity and devices safe, but only 53 per cent take the necessary steps to implement protection. Sixteen per cent assume that the manufacturer has built security into the product, and another 22 per cent know they need to put security precautions in place but don’t know how. This highlights the importance of consumers to conduct research about a device’s built-in security settings, rather than solely relying on manufacturers to appropriately lock down their devices and data.

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