More than a third of smart device owners fail to take security measures

More than a third (35%) of connected device owners in the UK do not take additional security measures to protect their smart home devices and rely only on built-in security features.

This is according to the conclusions of the Norton Cyber ​​Safety Insights 2021 Report: Special Edition – Home and Safety, which examined the online behaviors of home consumers.

The UK part of the study found a worrying lack of safety hygiene for smart devices among UK consumers. Only 37% of connected device owners deny permissions to access apps on their devices, while only a third (33%) install cybersecurity software. An even smaller proportion reported changing default passwords on devices (32%) or regularly updating device passwords (30%). In addition, only 31% of people who own a Wi-Fi router change their router’s password more than once a year, with 42% admitting that they have never changed the password or do not know how often the password is changed.

More encouragingly, 86% of Brits who own a smart device said they would take action if any of their devices were hacked. The most common of these actions is changing security settings or passwords (53%).

The research, based on an online survey of over 1,000 UK adults by The Harris Poll, found that 71% of UK adults have a smart home device, with smart TVs (52%) and speakers / most common types of intelligent household assistants (33%). While many find these devices useful (41%) and convenient (36%), a significant proportion described them as a security risk (24%) and intrusive (22%). Some even said they were untrustworthy (15%), scary (12%) or scary (8%).

The study also highlighted how increasing screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the physical (52%) and mental (41%) health of many consumers, in addition to them. make them more vulnerable to online harm.

Sarah Uhlfelder, Senior Strategic Director EMEA at NortonLifeLock, commented: “With Brits admitting to spending 5.5 hours a day staring at screens in addition to the time they spend on devices for school or work purposes, it is inevitable that excessive screen time will cause many feel exhausted.

“Make no mistake about it, technology can and does bring a number of social and educational benefits and, over the past year or so, we’ve even seen it become a lifeline for many. In the UK, one in five adults (21%) have bought a new smart home or connected device to help them and their families cope with the pandemic, as lockdowns have increased the limitations on our social lives and it is somewhat virtualized. But, in an increasingly virtual world, adopting healthy screen time routines and digital security habits is an essential part of everyday life.

“Beyond setting device usage limits and screen time limits, people also need to be wary of the risks they might face online. Be aware of what you disclose about yourself online and be cautious of potential scams, fraudulent sites or apps, coupled with good password hygiene and device protection with security software. multi-layered security, can greatly contribute to your and your family’s safety. in line.”

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