How seasonal tech gifts could be risking your data

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In the run up to the holiday season many of us will be buying internet connected devices. But new research from Intel Security shows that technology bargains and gifts could be putting consumers’ data at risk.

The survey among UK consumers shows smartphones and tablets come top of many seasonal shopping lists, with 42 percent planning to upgrade gadgets to the latest models. Yet 60 percent say they have no plans to ensure security software is installed.

“An underlying issue is that consumers simply don’t know which products need protecting,” says Nick Viney, VP consumer at Intel Security. “A fifth of those we surveyed said this was the reason for them leaving connected devices unprotected. All connected devices, whether old or new need to be protected to ensure personal information is safe from prying eyes”.

Buying connected devices for children is on the agenda for 15 percent of respondents. But again security is ignored with only 13 percent of Brits recognizing the importance of securing children’s devices. Although financial data breaches, for example, are not such a threat for children, they are increasingly becoming exposed to the dark side of the internet, such as cyber bullying.

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Of those surveyed, 40 percent plan to cash in by selling on their old devices to new users. However, 45 percent are unsure about how to wipe their old devices of personal information and only 34 percent of second-hand gadget buyers think to reset the device to factory settings. This means there’s a high chance that personal data will be passed on to new owners, running the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.

You can read the full findings along with tips on how to keep devices secure on the Intel Security site.

Photo Credit: Bartlomiej K. Kwieciszewski/Shutterstock

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