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Left to One’s Safe Devices

Left to One’s Safe Devices

I’m sitting in my kitchen typing this blog on my laptop, while I respond to emails and texts on my cellphone. My kids are on their PCs for their sixth-grade Google meets, while watching TikTok videos and playing online video games (which they shouldn’t be doing during remote learning, but it works for the premise of this blog).

The use of multiple devices simultaneously is a scene at the Harris household that has been a routine occurrence for more than a year now. Millions of other households in the United States are doing the same thing since the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the U.S., and the entire world, more than a year ago.

Working from home and remote learning offers a number of conveniences which include wearing comfy clothes (pajamas currently, if you care to know), saving on gas and tolls and not having to drop off and pick up the kids from school (although the peace and quiet will be easy to adjust to, come September).

But one aspect of working from home may get lost in the shuffle of our remote daily routines. Are our devices safe and secure? And if not, what can be done to ensure that personal and business data do not fall into the grubby hands of cybercriminals?

A study released this week by the NPD Group, the “Device Ownership Trends & Profile Report,” showed that there were more than one billion connected devices in U.S. households as of February 2021. It goes without saying that this explosion of technology purchases is a direct result of the pandemic forcing employees around the country to work from home, and kids to learn from home for their schooling.

The report noted that as of February 2021, Internet homes had an average of 9.5 installed and connected devices, an increase of one device per home from the start of the study in February 2020.

Laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones were among the devices covered in the study, all of which are subject to cybersecurity threats.

Security Systems News Editor Paul Ragusa and I have stressed numerous times in our blogs the importance of making sure that cybersecurity measures are in place to ensure that data breaches, such as the ones that took place at Verkada and SolarWinds, are prevented in both the public and private sectors.

At this point, it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when individuals and businesses should take preventative steps to ensure the security of devices and data.

We know that we could count on the numerous coalitions that the security industry has formed over the last several weeks, joining forces in the threat against cyberattacks.

On a slightly smaller scale, I renewed my antivirus software just this past weekend for all of our household devices.

You see, it’s really up to all of us - in our own homes, in corporate settings, in airports, on military bases, basically anywhere that Internet devices are being utilized - to ensure that personal and business data are kept private.

Let’s face it - the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away anytime soon. Cyber threats are not going away anytime soon. The number of connected devices is going to increase, and so is the threat of cyberattacks on those devices.

Join the security industry in the fight against cyber threats. Left to our own devices, we could do our part to make sure that our devices are safe and secure.


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