Millions of people will get an Alexa, Google Home, or Apple smart speaker for the holidays – help them ensure secure practices from the start
This holiday season, millions of people will be given a gift they are already worried about: Smart speakers, a gifting juggernaut and cybersecurity challenge.
The devices are wildly popular presents. Around 8% of Americans got a smart speaker as a gift last year over the holidays, according to a survey by NPR and Edison Research, and the number of the devices in U.S. homes increased by 78% year-over-year, to 118.5 million in December 2018.
The main reason people have not added one to their homes? Security concerns. Nearly two thirds (63%) of people who do not have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home say they “worry hackers could use smart speakers to get access to your home or personal information.”
“Smart speakers present different kinds of security vulnerabilities from computers, mobile devices, and even other IoT devices.” – Avast Security Evangelist Jasdev Dhaliwal
“Smart speakers present different kinds of security vulnerabilities from computers, mobile devices, and even other IoT devices,” says Avast Security Evangelist Jasdev Dhaliwal. “Our engagement with them is instinctive and often less mindful. They connect with other devices and networks in ways we might overlook. And we give them to family members so they can connect more easily to the online world without factoring in security issues they may not consider.”
What does that mean for you? Whether you’re giving, receiving, or avoiding smart speakers as a gift, you may want to keep a few best practices in mind. Here are five tips on managing smart speaker security this holiday season.
Got all that? The set-up might seem complicated compared to simply asking Alexa, Google, or Siri to do something. That’s the point. Smart speakers are wonderfully convenient. Bolstering IoT security just takes a little more work. It’s worth it.