As more households turn to smart devices to simplify their lives, protecting your devices from malicious actors is essential to securing digital safety. A study from Parks Associates, a leading authority in consumer and market research, shows a concerning trend in security threats stemming from smart device use.
The “Privacy and Data Protection for Connected Devices” report shows that 54% of U.S. households connected to the internet experience data privacy and security issues over 12 months. That’s a 50% jump from 2018 when 36% of homes reported problems.
An increasing number of homes utilize smart devices like Ring security cameras, smart lightbulbs, and fitness devices, increasing the risk of hackers breaching protections.
“As we witness this surge in data privacy and security concerns, it becomes paramount for smart home industry players and service providers to prioritize consumer data apprehensions and redouble their efforts in securing their products,” said Jennifer Kent, vice president of research at Parks Associates. “After interoperability, the top reasons consumers gravitate to certain providers of smart home products are user experience and trust – trust that the company will properly handle personal data, and trust that the company will be present for the long haul.”
Over the past seven years, U.S. households have doubled the number of connected devices used in their homes. The report shows that 62% of smart home device users are wary of hackers gaining unauthorized access and control.
“While the growth in 2023 appears to be slightly slower than in previous years, this could be attributed to consumers exercising caution in the wake of historic inflation, layoffs, and looming recession fears,” said Kent. “We anticipate that device ownership will resume its upward trajectory in more favorable economic conditions.”
No matter how many devices you have connected to the internet, it’s important to regularly change your passwords and set up two-factor authentication to prevent scammers from accessing your data. Don’t recycle passwords between accounts, sign up for a premium data security subscription, and check your apps often for signs of suspicious activity.