Brits failing to secure smart homes

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Smart homes are posing an increaisng security risk as users fail to properly secure their connected devices, new research has claimed.

With items such as smart thermostats and intelligent lighting becoming commonplace in homes across the country, consumers are embracing connected homes, but failing to ensure they are protected against cyber-threats.

Data from nCipher Security found that more than two thirds of UK adults are failing to take even basic precautions to protect their devices, putting them at risk of attack, despite billions of devices now being active around the world.

Smart home security

The company surveyed over a thousand UK adults, finding that less than one in four follows simple steps such as regularly changing passwords. Only one in 10 people have read the privacy policy for their devices, showing a major shortcoming in understanding how to protect their devices.

This feeling was reflected in wider opinons around the safety of supposedly smart devices, with over half (50.3 percent) of respondents saying they were concerned about the security of connected devices.

Nearly a quarter (23.3 percent) had never learnt about encrypting their data, with 36.3 percent unaware they could encrypt their own personal data, and a further 18.6 percent didn’t believe they could.

“When we get in a car we know what precautions to take to protect our family: we strap ourselves and our children in almost instinctively," commented John Grimm, VP of Strategy and Business Development at nCipher Security. "Although we spend far more time in the digital world than in our cars, sadly, we are far less knowledgeable about how to safeguard our data, devices and privacy from threats."

"We may be confident a car has built-in safety features and still put our seat belts on. We should take a similar approach in the digital world. Encryption – coupled with strong protection and management of private encryption keys -  is a vital step to protecting personal data.”

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.