Secure Yourself Or Get Pwned For The Holidays

A 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. 

While a majority of Canadians are aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops (73%), tablets (66%) and mobile phones (62%), they lack awareness about the potential risks associated with emerging connected devices, such as drones (15%), children’s toys (15%), virtual reality tech (15%), fitness trackers (13%) and pet gifts (10%). As technology continues to evolve, it is essential consumers  understand the risks associated with even the most unassuming devices. While 80% of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, nearly half (48%) are uncertain if they are taking the proper security steps.

This year’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts include:

1. Laptops and PCs

Laptops and PCs make great gifts, however, malicious apps targeting PCs are unfortunately common, and  are not just limited to Windows-based devices. 

2. Smartphones and Tablets

Survey results revealed that 61% of consumers plan to purchase either a smartphone or tablet this holiday season. Just like PCs and laptops, malware could result in personal and financial information being stolen.

3. Media Players and Streaming Sticks

Media players and streaming sticks have changed the way consumers enjoy movies and TV, but consumers can unknowingly invite a cybercriminal into their living room by failing to update their device.

4. Smart Home Automation Devices and Apps

Today’s connected home devices and apps give users the power to control their homes from their smartphone. Unfortunately, hackers have demonstrated techniques that could be used to compromise Bluetooth-powered door locks and other home automation devices.

5. Drones

Drone sales are expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2022.  They can provide unique perspectives when it comes to shooting video and photos.  However, not properly securing the device could allow hackers to disrupt the GPS signal, or hijack your drone through its smartphone app.


Tips for Canadian Consumers to Protect Holiday Cheer

To stay protected for a happier and safer holiday season, Intel Security has the following tips:

  • Secure your device. Your device is the key to controlling your home and your personal information. Make sure you have comprehensive security software installed, like McAfee LiveSafe.
  • 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 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 their browser.

To learn more about the list and survey, check out:

Survey Methodology

In September 2016, Intel Security commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 9,800 consumers (aged 18-55+). Respondents were individuals who use an internet-enabled device on a daily basis in the following regions: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.


One Response to “Secure Yourself Or Get Pwned For The Holidays”

  1. […] Becomes The Source Of Epic Pwnage: Those WiFi controlled cameras, light switches and the like became the source of distributed denial of service attacks this year. Largely because those “things” on the Internet were not all that secure. Companies who […]

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