Are your customers doing enough to help you protect their privacy?

Australian consumers may be protective of their private data but most still don’t understand their role in ensuring privacy by protecting their connected devices, according to new research that suggests many consumers are struggling to grasp the full extent of their security exposure.

Fully 90 percent of respondents to a recent McAfee survey said they are concerned about protection of their personally identifiable information (PII), but 83 percent admit that they don’t see protecting their connected devices – a critical part of protecting personal data – as a top priority.

With connected personal home assistants, TVs, security cameras and other devices compounding the existing exposure of smartphones and tablets, many consumers are weighing “how much personal data they should be allowing companies access to and what kind of data ‘trade-offs’ they would be willing to make in order to gain access to the online services they need,” McAfee APAC chief technology officer Ian Yip said in a statement.

“With a lack of awareness on how to protect connected devices, there is a disconnect between the privacy level Australians want, and the steps they actually need to take to stay safe. Most consumers don’t realise that protecting their privacy and the security level of their connected devices are tied together. You can’t have one without the other.”

Only around half of respondents were proactively managing security of their home devices, with 59 percent saying they limit whom they allow to access their home network, 49 percent applying patches and updates to app or device software when prompted, and 58 percent saying they have changed the default password on new devices.