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More than two-thirds of UK consumers who plan to buy Internet of Things devices concerned about safety: study

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More than a quarter of consumers are planning to buy Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the next year – but most are concerned that their devices may be hacked or data stolen, a new study suggests.

The study from mobile and internet security business BullGuard questioned more than 6,000 UK residents and found more than a quarter were planning to buy IoT devices. They range from internet-connecting cars and garage doors to smart TVs, surveillance cameras, dishwashers, coffee machines and more. But it also found that 66% were ‘very’ or ‘highly’ concerned about the risk of hacking and data theft, and 57% by privacy breaches. More than a third (34%) had also had a security incident or privacy problem in the past, and 22% of those who said they had advanced technical skills were still not confident they could keep their connected devices safe.

As yet, says BullGuard, the IoT industry has yet to establish common security standards for internet-connecting devices.

Paul Lipman, chief executive of BullGuard said: “Most of us have been working with internet connected devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets for some time, but the Internet of Things is changing our perception of personal security, for both ourselves and our data. It’s not just those who consider themselves ‘technophobes’ that have these concerns – tech savvy users are saying the same.”

Safeguarding the home router is key to keeping devices secure, says BullGuard, but although 81% said they could set up their own router, 63% had not changed its password and 49% did not know how. Almost three-quarters (72%) did not know how to configure a router to keep a home network secure.

“Consumers are clearly not equipped to handle the myriad of security risks presented by connected devices,” said Lipman. “With devices such as security cameras, alarm systems and door locks now being connected to the internet, physical security is becoming as much of a consideration for consumers as data security. Keeping these devices secure is absolutely imperative.”

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