Security

CES 2019: 58% of consumers don't secure their personal devices

Businesses must build IoT security measures into devices to protect consumers from hackers, according to McAfee.

While professionals may be excited about the number of business laptops, smart office management platforms, and myriad of other connected devices making their debut at CES 2019, they can expect many new products to come with unexpected security vulnerabilities. However, 58% of 2,000 consumers surveyed said they don't believe that they are responsible for ensuring their personal devices are secure, according to a Monday report from McAfee—potentially putting their office and home at risk.

Of this 58%, 27% said they believe Internet of Things (IoT) and personal device product security responsibilities fall to device manufacturers, 22% said to IT staff, and 9% said to regulatory bodies, the report found.

SEE: CES 2019 news, photos, videos, and more (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

Only 42% of consumers said they consider themselves accountable when it comes to device security, according to the report.

"Despite all the news surrounding vulnerabilities of the connected things we are bringing into our homes, it's interesting to see consumers pass the buck when it comes to securing their products," Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee, said in a press release. "Manufacturers must do more to ensure that they are offering devices that include security is built in from the start, versus as an afterthought, but consumers themselves must also take responsibility to help safeguard their own security."

Here are four tips for professionals and consumers to ensure that their new devices are secure:

1. Do the little things

Even unsophisticated cybercriminals can steal personal information, the report noted. Making minor efforts like changing default passwords immediately and using unique passwords can help prevent your personal information from being stolen.

2. Research before you buy

Research products and their manufacturers before making a technology purchase, the report recommended. This could save you from buying a device with a known security vulnerability.

3. Stay aware even after you purchase

With new threats constantly emerging, users should be on the lookout for the latest scams and cybersecurity trends to stay safe.

4. Apply updates when available

Keep the applications or firmware on your devices up to date, and do so as soon as updates are available, the report said, as most updates include security fixes for vulnerabilities.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/anyaberkut

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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