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McAfee Survey: Fewer Than Half of Canadians Use Proper Security

By Ken Briodagh November 21, 2016

Intel Security has announced its second-annual “McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts” list, which identifies potential security risks to consumers from holiday gift items. The study was of Canadian consumers.

Surprising no one, the report says that the most hackable gift category was laptop and desktop computers. Next were tablets and smartphones, followed by a variety of Smart Home and Connected transportation technologies. Intel Security also conducted a supplemental survey to identify risky behaviors and educate consumers on how to protect themselves.

“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,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist, Intel Security, and featured speaker at the upcoming IoT Evolution Expo Security in the IoT Summit. “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 Canadians reported being aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops and mobile devices, they showed a lack of awareness about the potential risks from emerging IoT connected devices, like fitness trackers, Smart TVs, drones, toys, and virtual reality. In fact, the report indicated that, while 80 percent of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, almost half say they don’t know if they are taking the proper security steps.

“Connected devices are a popular holiday present because they offer convenience and entertainment,” said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager, Intel Security. “But Canadians need to be aware that connected devices that aren't properly secured can expose important personal and financial information.”

We think this is probably good advice for all consumers, not just Canadians. 




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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