More than a third of Brits plan to give hackable gifts this Christmas
More than a third of Brits plan to give hackable gifts this Christmas

Over a third of Brits are planning to gift an internet-connected device this Christmas. The two most popular gifts – smartphone/tablets and laptops – this year are also the two most easily and frequently hacked.

New research from Intel Security reveals that 42 percent of Brits plan to upgrade their friend's and family's gadgets to the latest models, and 60 percent will do so without ensuring security software is installed. The research included responses from 9800 adults who have daily use of an internet enabled device in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Mexico and Spain.

Two-fifths of UK consumers plan to make some quick cash by selling their old devices on to new users. However, only 45 percent of Brits know how to wipe their old devices and 34 percent of second hand gadget buyers are aware of how to reset their device to factory settings. So the next time you make a sale, your personal data can run the risk of landing in the wrong hands, Intel warned.

Over two-thirds of Brits believe it is very important for their online identity to be kept safe, but 52 percent are unsure whether their devices are secure.

“An underlying issue is that consumers simply don't know which products need protecting. All connected devices, whether old or new need to be protected to ensure personal information is safe from prying eyes,” said Nick Viney, VP consumer at Intel Security.

This year, 15 percent of Brits plan to buy a connected device for their children, but only 13 percent of parents recognise the importance of securing their children's data. Furthermore, 60 percent of parents leave children unattended with their devices, which leave them vulnerable to the dark side of the internet.

“Teaching children best practices for safe online behaviour right from the start will be invaluable to them as they grow up. The responsibility lies with parents, teachers and technology experts to ensure children understand how to protect themselves from the potential risks online. With more kids than ever before connected to the internet, greater education about responsible internet use and watertight security are vital to keeping children safe,” Viney said.

Cyber-security professionals can help their friends and family stay safer and happier at Christmas by recommending they follow these tips:

  • Secure your device by installing comprehensive security software.

  • Only use secure Wi-Fi. Avoid using public Wi-Fi that could leave you and your home open to risk.

  • Keep software up-to-date by applying patches as they're released and installing manufacturer updates right away.

  • Use a strong password or PIN.

  • Check before you click on links from people you do not know and always use internet security software to stay protected.