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Dec 2nd


The Most Hackable Holiday Gifts and Tips to Help Secure Them

Tablet pc, smartphone and smartwatch for Christmas

From tablets to electronic toys, drones, media players and fitness trackers, gadgets make popular gifts during the holidays. They also make potentially easy prey to cybercriminals, if used without the proper security precautions. In all the excitement of unwrapping and powering on your newest device, don't forget to secure it before connecting it to the internet and making it vulnerable to hackers.

A recent Intel Security survey showed that 79 percent of consumers start using connected devices within the first day of receiving them but only 42 percent claim that they take the proper measures to secure their devices. With this in mind, Intel Security just announced its second annual McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list—to inform gift givers and receivers about the potential security risks associated with the hottest items on the market. Below, you'll find their list of hackable gifts along with tips on how to keep them secure.

‚Äč If you give or receive any electronic devices this holiday season, make sure you're protecting yourself and your loved ones from cybersecurity risks.

McAfee's Most Hackable Holiday Gifts Include:
Laptops and PCs – Laptops and PCs make great gifts; however, malicious apps targeting PCs are common and are not just limited to Windows-based devices.

Smartphones and Tablets – Survey results revealed that 52 percent of consumers plan to purchase either a smartphone or tablet this holiday season. Just like PCs and laptops, malware could result in personal and financial information being stolen.

Media Players and Streaming Sticks – Media players and streaming sticks have changed the way consumers enjoy movies and TV, but consumers can unknowingly invite a cybercriminal into their living room by failing to update their device.

Smart Home Automation Devices and Apps – Today's connected home devices and apps give users the power to control their homes from their smartphone. Unfortunately, hackers have demonstrated techniques that could be used to compromise Bluetooth-powered door locks and other home automation devices.

Drones – Drone sales are expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2022. They can provide unique perspectives when it comes to shooting video and photos. However, not properly securing them could allow hackers to disrupt the GPS signal or hijack your drone through its smartphone app.

To stay protected for a happier and safer holiday season, Intel Security has the following tips:
  • Secure your device. Your device is the key to controlling your home and your personal information. Make sure you have comprehensive security software installed, like McAfee.
  • Only use secure Wi-Fi. Using your devices, such as your smart home applications, on public Wi-Fi could leave you and your home open to risk.
  • Keep software up-to-date. Apply patches as they are released from the manufacturer. Install manufacturer updates right away to ensure that your device is protected from the latest known threats.
  • Use a strong password or PIN. If your device supports it, use multi-factor authentication (MFA), as it can include factors like a trusted device, your face, fingerprint, etc. to make your login more secure.
  • Check before you click. Be suspicious of links from people you do not know and always use internet security software to stay protected. Hover over the link to find a full URL of the link's destination in the lower corner of your browser.
Start off the New Year right, with the proper security precautions, so you can use your gadgets without any concerns.

Wishing you happy and safe holidays!