Navigating Today’s Connected World

Whether we’re with our romantic partners or members of our family, our devices are not far behind. In fact, staying connected to our devices has become just part of life. But as we grow closer with our devices, it’s becoming increasingly important that we keep those devices secure.

We recently conducted a survey to better understand consumers’ attitudes and habits around their connected lives. One of the key findings was that while people are concerned about securing the information stored on their mobile devices—primarily financial data—they often lack the security knowledge to keep those devices safe.

Out of those concerns, the biggest was, unsurprisingly, about money. As we live faster, more connected lives, many of us keep our financial information on hand in a banking app. So it makes sense that out of those surveyed, 44% of respondents are most concerned about a hacker stealing personal financial information. Spanish consumers are most fearful, with 60% reporting concern about their personal financial details being compromised. France (55%) and Singapore (54%) followed closely behind.

As the world continues to become more connected, we’ve begun to store more and more personal data on our mobile devices. And since we want to keep that information safe, we now keep our devices close to us at all times. But sometimes, a close eye just doesn’t cut it, as most people don’t know the proper procedure for checking their device for infection or breach. In fact, 41% of consumers don’t know how to check to make sure their devices or applications have not been compromised.

Specifically, 66% of Japanese consumers report just that – they’re in the dark on how exactly they can keep their connected life safe. On the other hand, respondents in India are far more equipped to determine whether their device has been compromised with 51% reporting they know how to check and 56% reporting they regularly do so.

Beyond a lack in security knowledge, those living a connected life may get a little lazy when it comes to personal security. While 62% of consumers know to change the password for their router, 20% have never actually changed it from the default setting.

So whether you’re unsure how to improve your security, or maybe just need another reminder, here’s a few tips on how to safe stay while living a connected lifestyle:

  • Lock down your devices. Our devices are like an extension of our bodies. It’s imperative that they are locked down with a strong PIN code, as well as complex and unique passwords to prevent unauthorized access. Use a multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution that will combine your strong passwords with an extra layer of security—like fingerprint scanning, or facial recognition.
  • Keep your devices updated. Be sure to update your devices when new versions of the operating system, or any applications, become available. Updates often include critical security fixes designed to patch and protect from attacks.
  • Take control of your home network. Setting up a guest Wi-Fi network allows visitors to access the internet, but keeps your home network private and isolated from their devices. You can also separate your IoT devices (smart home devices, wearables, etc.) from traditional connected devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) where more secure information is stored, so if an IoT device is compromised, the breach will be limited to devices connected to the guest network. Solutions, such as McAfee Secure Home Platform, help you easily manage and protect devices connected to both networks, and can ensure that guest devices connected to your network don’t open you up to an attack.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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