Homes fear cyber attack more than child risk, claims survey


UK householders confined to their home and spending more time online fear the threat of data and financial loss due to a cyber attack above concerns about the risks their children face while online, according to a new survey by Irdeto.

As COVID-19 grips the world, the Irdeto Home Cybersecurity Report polled more than 5,000 consumers across five countries (the UK, the USA, France, Germany and China) in a bid to understand how perceptions, priorities and general knowledge of online security are changing in these unprecedented times.

Fear of cyber crime in the home is heightened, with many people being forced away from the office due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While just over a fifth (22%) of UK survey respondents said they believed they had previously been a victim of a cyber attack in the home, almost two-thirds (60%) of those who are now working from home due to COVID-19 and spending more time online think they are more susceptible to cyber attacks.

The survey also revealed that:

  • Almost a third (30%) of respondents said being the victim of a cyber attack is most likely to happen than other scenarios such as home burglary (16%);
  • Almost half of UK householders (49%) said that becoming a victim of online fraud, including identity theft and loss of money, was their main cybersecurity concern;
  • A similar number (41%) said having personal data stolen was their main cybersecurity concern, while just over one in ten (11%) cited having personal photos or video stolen;
  • Just a quarter (25%) said risks to their children would make them take their household cybersecurity more seriously.

Says Shane McCarthy, COO of Irdeto:

“As both parents and children spend more time at home using the ever-growing number of internet connected devices, it is perhaps unsurprising that fears of falling victim to cyber criminals is widespread. While it is understandable that householders have concerns around data and financial theft, there remains a huge threat to young people and adult supervision should be a priority.”

The biggest child-related concerns for parents and guardians was children being subjected to inappropriate approaches while online (21%), while a fifth (20%) said they were worried about children accessing adult material. More than half (57%) of respondents want to have much more control over their home network, with half (50%) agreeing that manufacturer level security on home devices is insufficient.

Adds McCarthy:

 “It is encouraging that more than half of people want to have greater control over their home network. Householders can take simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a cybercrime victim, including the use of unique passwords for each device, investing in anti-virus software and regularly updating device software.

“Also consider choosing a broadband provider offering a connected home management service, which acts as an extra defence against attacks including outbound DDoS or inbound from malware pre-installed on a device.”


Chris Price
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