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By: Technology Decisions

Fewer than half of all Australians take appropriate security measures to protect their gadgets, according to a new survey.

The McAfee Most Hackable Christmas Gifts list has been released by Intel Security to demonstrate potential security risks associated with popular purchases this holiday season. Accompanying the list is a survey that identifies the risky behaviours in which Australians are engaging and educates them on how to protect themselves.

The most hackable gift category included laptops and PCs, followed by smartphones and tablets, media players and streaming sticks, smart home automation and devices and drones.

“It’s not surprising to learn that connected devices remain high on Christmas wish lists this year, with smartphones and tablets topping the list,” said Andrew Hurren, regional solution architect at Intel Security ANZ.

“However, what is surprising is the number of Australians who aren’t sure whether they’re putting the appropriate measures in place to protect their devices. Just as consumers are eager to use their devices as soon as they can, cybercriminals are even keener to use this lack of attention to security to their advantage and swiftly gather personal consumer data. This could expose consumers to malware or identity theft or even use unsecured devices to launch DDoS attacks.”

While a majority of Australians are aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops (74%), mobile phones (69%) and tablets (64%), they lack awareness about the potential risks associated with emerging connected devices, such as drones (18%), children’s toys (13%), virtual reality tech (15%) and pet gifts (10%). As technology continues to evolve, it is essential that Australians understand the risks associated with even the most unassuming devices.

To create the list of most hackable Christmas gifts, Intel Security analysed the list of popular devices for a range of factors including accessibility, communication security, target value (whether these devices have access to information that would be valuable to a cybercriminal), activity (whether the hacking community is actively researching how to exploit these devices) and whether there are any active exploits roaming the internet looking for these devices.

Intel Security advises that Australians secure their device before they begin using it, as well as ensure that they have comprehensive security software installed, only use a secure Wi-Fi connection, keep software up to date, configure a strong password and be wary about clicking links from unknown sources.

Source: Technology Decisions