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Christmas shoppers raise security concerns

19th December 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

With Christmas less than a week away and many consumers buying last minute purchases, new research out today reveals that we could unknowingly be bringing security risks into our home.

Research commissioned by Avast has revealed that 91% of the British public assume that connected devices (such as an Amazon Alexa or a Vtech’s KidiGear walkie talkie), come with a degree of security in-built. Unfortunately, the security built into these devices isn’t always the strongest, with manufacturers rushing to get their great product idea into fruition, security can often be left as an afterthought – meaning that the public have to take measures themselves to protect these devices. It is therefore unclear to many consumers where the responsibility lies to secure their gadgets.

Most connected devices also come with default passwords which are not very secure and often require changing, yet 41 per cent of consumers do not change their default passwords when they purchase or receive a connected device. The top reasons why people are failing to protect themselves in this way are because they do not know how to change their passwords (20 per cent), they find the process of changing them too complicated (16 per cent) or because they did not realise they were password protected in the first place (5 per cent).

Aston spoke to John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of neighbourhood watch and Pete Turner, cyber security expert from avast to discuss about the potential risks of unsecured devices, what the public need to look out for, and what steps we can take to protect any connected devices we might purchase for others, or ourselves.