A new report from Intel Security has suggested less than two thirds of all consumers take the time to properly secure their new gadgets and with the Christmas period coming up, that likely means a lot of unsecured devices joining the Internet of Things. So at this busy time of year with lots of new tech available, will you take the time to build your own digital defences?
This research comes out of the second annual McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list to find the potentially most vulnerable gadgets out there that people may pick up during the next few weeks. Considering recent, large-scale DDOS attacks utilised a lot of security cameras and other IoT devices, it’s important to consider whether your latest toy has the potential to reveal information about you, or be used in a wider botnet.
The most hackable gifts we’re told, are laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets – all of which have the potential to be hijacked, infected with malware or other nasty software – securing them with good passwords and best usage practices is a must.
Media players and streaming sticks can also be vulnerable though. Making sure to keep them updated with latest firmware releases is important, lest they invite the attention of a nefarious character. The same goes for smart-home automation devices – whether it’s a kettle or light switch, anything that connects to your Wi-Fi network can be made vulnerable in the wrong hands.
The final, big, at-risk category that Intel was concerned about was drones. With built in GPS, cameras, microphones and more, they can potentially swipe a lot of data – or even be hijacked in extreme circumstances.
To make sure these devices are protected over the Christmas period, Intel Security recommends anti-malware and anti-viral software, a strong and unique Wi-Fi password, regular software updates, secure pin codes and some user sense; don’t go clicking links, or attachments you may not know the origin of.
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KitGuru Says: I’m sure with you guys this is mostly preaching to the choir, but if you already know what your’e doing, don’t forget to let friends and relatives who aren’t so tech savvy know about the dangers of smart, connected devices. Insecurity threatens us all.