20% Of Consumers Would Knowingly Buy A Connected Device Vulnerable To Hacking: McAfee

McAfee Survey Reveals One in Five Consumers Would Knowingly Buy a Connected Device Vulnerable to Hackin 

Cybersecurity company McAfee has announced the results of its third annual Most Hackable Holiday Gifts survey. Not surprisingly, laptops, tablets and smartphones lead the list, followed by drones, digital assistants, connected toys, and connected appliances.

Most consumers (69%) said laptops, tablets and smartphones should be secured. But only 22 per cent thought connected toys needed security and just 29 percent believed drones should be protected.

 This Year’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts Include:

  1. Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets – Laptops, smartphones, and tablets are traditional targets for cybercriminals, but if not properly secured, can get infected with malicious applications.
  2. Drones – Sales of drones are expected to top US$1 billion in 2017, but security hasn’t quite caught up. Consumers need to stay mindful of risks associated with drone jacking and fake Wi-Fi signals from rogue drones.
  3. Digital Assistants – These device-based assistants can help order household items, play music, provide answers to questions, and much more. However, with microphones that are always listening for a wake-up command, and many devices now equipped with cameras it’s vital to understand privacy implications.
  4. Connected Toys – Toys keep getting smarter, but unfortunately so do cybercriminals. For many manufacturers, security is an afterthought that can leave toys vulnerable to attack when hackers target built-in microphones and location-based services.
  5. Connected Appliances – A smart home appliance can make daily life easier, but be aware that these devices could be used as pawns in an online attack or leak information about you or your home.

Tips from McAfee for Consumers to Stay Protected This Holiday Season:

To help keep your family safe during the holidays, McAfee has the following tips:

  • Think before you click: One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to compromise your device is through a malicious link. Be skeptical if you receive a link or other solicitation that you are not expecting.
  • Update your software: Whether it’s your PC, smartphone, digital assistant or even your drone, keep the software up to date. Manufacturers plug security holes with device updates so it’s important to always install the latest versions as soon as possible. Where applicable use up-to-date security software.
  • Beware of shady public Wi-Fi hotspots: Cybercriminals often deploy fake Wi-Fi hotspots that appear to be legitimate, but give them visibility into your browsing habits. If you have to use public Wi-Fi refrain from online shopping or banking. If you need to shop or bank on public Wi-Fi use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), like McAfee Safe Connect, to encrypt your network traffic.
  • Do your homework: Not all manufacturers take security seriously, especially when it comes to connected toys, so it’s important to research if there have been any reported security vulnerabilities before purchasing.
  • Protect your home network: Secure all of your connected devices and your home internet at its source with McAfee Secure Home Platform. This solution gives you insight into what devices are on your network, and protects all of your connected devices.

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