Nearly three out of four internet-connected households in the UK are at risk of getting attacked through their wireless router, according to a recent study by Avast Software.
“Unsecured routers create an easy entry point for hackers to attack millions of home networks in the UK,” said Vince Steckler, CEO at Avast.
“Our research revealed that the vast majority of home routers in the UK aren’t secure. If a router is not properly secured, cybercriminals can easily gain access to an individual’s personal information, including financial information, user names and passwords, photos, and browsing history.” Avast found that more than half of all routers are poorly protected by default or common, easily hacked password combinations such as admin/admin or admin/password, or even admin/no-password.
Surveying more than 2,000 households in the UK, researchers found that an additional 23% of consumers use their address, name, phone number, street name, or other easily guessed terms as their passwords.
“Today’s router security situation is very reminiscent of PCs in the 1990s, with lax attitudes towards security combined with new vulnerabilities being discovered every day creating an easily exploitable environment. The main difference is people have much more personal information stored on their devices today than they did back then. Consumers need strong yet simple-to-use tools that can prevent attacks before they happen,” said Steckler.
According to the survey, less than half of British people strongly believe their home network is secure and 15% of respondents reported that they have fallen victim to hackers. Survey respondents reported that the consequences of a breach could be severe, and reported that they are most concerned about their bank or financial information being stolen (43%), losing their personal information (32%), getting their photos hacked (11%), and having their browsing history stolen (11%).
Despite concerns, people aren’t good at protecting themselves:
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