Christmas is just around the corner. What are you getting your kids for the holidays? Could it be an electronic device?
While endless gift lists and ideas are spreading across social media this time of year, it’s easy to see a pattern emerging. Connected devices have hit an all time high on wish lists across the globe. Gone are the days we just had to worry about what size batteries we needed for our kids’ toys. We now have to think about how to protect all these devices that we are purchasing and using by everyone in our home.
Top 5 gifts Brits are purchasing this Christmas:
1) Smartphones & tablets
3) Smart home devices & digital assistants
4) Smart TV
5) Connected toys
Just glancing at the list above it’s easy to see how vulnerable we are in our gifts. When we rip that wrapping paper open the first thing we want to do is get that device connected online and start using it’s features. We don’t stop to think how our new shiny toy could put us at risk. Kids with smartphones, smart tv that are beyond our understanding and other connected toys that are used for gaming, all have the potential to leak personal information at a very high fraudulent time of year – Christmas.
It’s crazy that we constantly teach our children about “stranger danger” and not going anywhere with anyone we don’t know. Yet, we don’t teach them about “online stranger danger” the ones that can be lurking behind the scenes stealing information or even pretending to be someone they are not to gain information from your children. In modern day, this should be talked about and shared just as much as we tell them about not talking to strangers on the street.
Can you guess which electronic device is at most risk?
This Year’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts include (in order of most to least risk):
3) Digital Assistants
4) Connected Toys
5) Connected Appliances
Oh yes, those most sot after drones are at the top of the list. Did you guess? While people around the world just want the thing that flies the highest and captures views that we otherwise wouldn’t see or capture, they also need to stay protected before using them. If any of these items are on your children’s wish lists this year, make sure you teach them about online security and safety.
Don’t think it’s that risky? Read a few stats just to prove to you how unaware we are in protecting our devices or perhaps the hilarious video of online safety from kids will spark your interest in online security. They prove that we aren’t teaching them enough about “online stranger danger”.
45% of people are planning to buy the latest gadgets for Christmas this year, putting tech at the top of Christmas shopping lists.
22% of people say they plan to buy connected toys this festive period, a 7% increase on last year.
And less than a third of parents (31%) are currently speaking to their kids about what they do online.
It’s all good to say how vulnerable we are with all the recent technology advances but what can we do about it to protect ourselves and our loved ones this holiday season and all year round?
TIPS TO STAY PROTECTED:
- Think before you click: One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to compromise your device is through a malicious link.
- Update your software: Whether it’s your PC, smartphone, digital assistant or even your drone, keep the software up to date. Manufacturers plug security holes with device updates so it’s important to always install the latest versions as soon as possible.
- Beware of shady public Wi-Fi hotspots
- Do your homework: When it comes to connected toys, it’s important to research if there have been any reported security vulnerabilities before purchasing.
- Protect your home network: Secure all of your connected devices and your home internet at its source with McAfee Secure Home Platform. This solution gives you insight into what devices are on your network, and protects all of your connected devices.
I know when I buy an electronic device for all my loved ones, I make sure it has security, the right updates, password protections and those parental security measures too. The generations of techno kids are growing up, let’s all teach them how to be safe both online and offline.
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