New McAfee research has revealed almost a third (32%) of Aussies take no steps towards securing their connected devices, even if they think they might be listening to their conversations.
The research shows that Aussie consumers are at a loss when it comes to securing the increasing number of connected devices in their homes and are often opting to take no action at all.
Over a quarter of Aussies (27%) never change the default password on their Wi-Fi router and almost a fifth (18%) wait upward of a month to update the software on their devices.
Despite this, 30% of people admitted they would have no idea who to turn to if one of those devices was hacked.
When it comes to parents, over a quarter (30%) are failing to install security on any of their children’s devices.
This could be explained by the fact that almost 40% of Aussie parents surveyed think their children could look after their own cyber safety at the age of 10 or under, with the mean age being just 12 years old.
When it comes to securing WiFi routers, a lack of understanding appears to be the reason why a quarter of respondents don’t do anything to protect their WiFi router.
Close to half (41%) of Aussies don’t understand the difference between protecting their home WiFi and protecting the devices connected to it, with half (50%) of respondents believing that their home WiFi is protected if the devices connected to it have security software installed.
“From connected fridges to WiFi enabled doorbells, IoT devices are making their way into homes at an increasing rate, with Gartner predicting as many as 20 billion such devices will exist by 2020.
“Unfortunately, security is not always prioritised by IoT manufacturers, and it’s up to consumers to ensure their connected home is protected,” says McAfee APAC CTO Ian Yip.
“By taking a casual approach to securing our home WiFi networks, Aussies are effectively giving cybercriminals a key to the castle by allowing them easier access to a large number of data-rich devices through one point of entry, their router.”
Not only are consumers putting their own private and financial information at risk, but the connected nature of IoT devices can be leveraged for more sinister and sophisticated attacks with widespread effects.
A prime example is the 2016 Mirai botnet attack that used 2.5 million compromised devices to take down part of the internet on the East Coast of the United States.
Other key findings from the McAfee research include:
Simple tips to secure your increasingly connected home:
There are a few simple things people can do to prevent IoT attacks and still enjoy their smart homes.