Some Singaporeans do not consider the imminent security risks when buying connected electronic devices, a new survey conducted by computer security firm McAfee reveals. Some of the most taken for granted devices include drones, digital assistants and connected toys.
McAfee has released its third annual Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list on November 28, 2017. One of its surprising survey findings says 20 per cent of consumers in Singapore would opt to purchase connected devices despite knowing the inherent danger, particularly to hacking.
"Singapore is a hyper connected society with a close to 80 per cent of Singaporeans planning to purchase a connected device online this holiday season," says David Freer, McAfee vice president of Consumer for Asia Pacific, in a statement to IBTimes Singapore.
"However, what's worrying is that a fifth of them are not concerned about security and would still buy a device even if they knew it was susceptible to security breaches."
The category leading the list is laptops, tablets and smartphones, followed by drones, digital assistants, connected toys and connected appliances. About 39 per cent believe that digital assistants ought to be secured, while 20 per cent think connected toys and drones need security.
"Such risk behaviour exposes Singaporeans to a myriad of cybersecurity risks and sheds light on the lack of awareness when it comes to securing devices," stresses Freer.
McAfee chief consumer security evangelist Gary Davis says connected devices will continue to be in high demand on holiday, but he stresses the reluctance of consumers in terms of protecting their devices. He warns that this reluctant attitude of Singaporeans could lead cybercriminals to take advantage.
"In many cases, consumers are simply unaware that their devices need to be protected or how to protect them," says Davis. "This lack of awareness and action can be exploited by cybercriminals to break into devices and steal personal information."
McAfee notes that 93 per cent of consumers are aware of the significance of keeping their online identity and devices safe. Even so, only 58 per cent take the necessary steps to put this awareness into action.
The company suggests updating the software of a connected device and being wary of shared public Wi-Fi hotspots to avoid cybercriminals hackers from penetrating one's device.
In the survey, McAfee used 504 adults between ages 18 and 55 in Singapore as respondents. The survey was conducted between September and October 2017.