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Less Than Half Of Australians Know How To Secure New Christmas Gadgets

Less than half of Australians will take the measures required to secure their new devices this Christmas, despite 80% planning to use connected devices within a day of receiving them.

Just 44% of those surveyed by Intel Security as part of the second-annual McAfee Most Hackable Christmas Gifts list are confident they will take the proper security measures to secure their new devices. Additionally, 46% are unsure of what steps are even required to remain secure online.

“Just as consumers are eager to use their devices as soon as they can, cybercriminals are even keener to use this lack of attention to security to their advantage, and swiftly gather personal consumer data,” said Intel Security ANZ regional solution architect Andrew Hurren.

“This could expose consumers to malware or identity theft or even use unsecured devices to launch DDoS attacks as in the recent Dyn attack,” Mr Hurren said.

The Dyn attack, which saw devices such as webcams and internet of things devices hijacked as part of a distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack that affected popular websites including Twitter and Netflix, has brought to light a lack of awareness about how newer technology is at risk of attack.

Only 18% of those surveyed knew about the security risks of drones, while even less were aware of security vulnerabilities of virtual reality technology (15%), children’s toys (13%), and pet gifts (10%).

A majority of Australians reported being aware of the security vulnerabilities in devices that have been on the market for some time, including laptops (74%), mobile phones (69%) and tablets (64%).

Intel Security determined the Most Hackable Christmas Gifts list by considering a range of factors, including the value of information available on the device and the accessibility of this information to hackers. Laptops and PCs were determined to be the most hackable devices, with smartphones and tablets in second place. Almost two thirds of Australians will purchase a smartphone or tablet for themselves or as a gift this Christmas.

Media streaming devices were the third most at risk, followed by smart home automation devices and apps, and finally drones. 


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