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Intel Security Survey 2016: Most Hackable Holiday Gifts for Canadians and Tips to Protect Holiday Cheer

Global Intel Security conducted by One Poll in September 2016. Intel and the Intel and McAfee logos, are trademarks of Intel Corporation or McAfee, Inc. in the US and/or other countries. Other marks and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Copyright © 2016 McAfee, Inc., 2821 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054, 1.888.847.8766,

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Smartphones and Tablets
Survey results revealed that 61% of consumers plan to purchase either a smartphone or tablet this holiday season. Just like PCs and laptops, malware could result in personal and financial information being stolen.

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Fewer than Half (44 per cent) of Canadian Consumers Take Proper Security Measures to Protect New Gadgets: McAfee Survey

Streaming Sticks, Drones and Smart Home Products Top the List of Devices that Can Compromise Consumers’ Security if Left Unprotected


– Survey reveals that 66% Canadian consumers will likely holiday shop online this year
– The holiday season brings new gifts, and while 89% of Canadians start using connected devices within the first day of receiving it, only 44% claim they take the proper security measures
– Consumers know it’s important to secure their devices, but nearly half (48%) are uncertain whether they are taking the proper security steps to do so

MARKHAM, Ontario, Nov. 21, 2016 – Today Intel Security announced its second-annual McAfee Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list to identify potential security risks associated with hot-ticket items this holiday season. The No. 1 most hackable gift category for Canadians included laptops and PCs, followed by tablets and smartphones, smart TVs, smart automobiles, media players and streaming sticks, drones, virtual reality technology and smart home automation and devices. To accompany the list, Intel Security conducted a survey to identify the risky behaviours consumers are engaging in during the holiday season and educate them on how to protect themselves.

Today’s digital world is changing fast, and our reliance on the internet is ever increasing. A recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was carried out by a botnet made up of unsecured webcams and other internet of things (IoT) devices, and crippled many popular websites connected to the Dyn domain. It’s important that consumers understand they can help fight these attacks by ensuring their devices are updated and patched, which helps mitigate risks from the latest threats.

“Unsurprisingly, connected devices remain high on holiday wish lists this year. What is alarming is that consumers remain unaware of what behaviours pose a security risk when it comes to new devices,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security. “Consumers are often eager to use their new gadget as soon as they get it and forgo ensuring that their device is properly secured. Cybercriminals could use this lack of attention as an inroad to gather personal consumer data, exposing consumers to malware or identity theft or even use unsecured devices to launch DDoS attacks as in the recent Dyn attack.”

While a majority of Canadians are aware of the vulnerabilities in older connected devices like laptops (73%), tablets (66%) and mobile phones (62%), they lack awareness about the potential risks associated with emerging connected devices, such as drones (15%), children’s toys (15%), virtual reality tech (15%), fitness trackers (13%) and pet gifts (10%). As technology continues to evolve, it is essential consumers understand the risks associated with even the most unassuming devices. While 80% of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, nearly half (48%) are uncertain if they are taking the proper security steps.

“Connected devices are a popular holiday present because they offer convenience and entertainment,” said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager with Intel Security. “But Canadians need to be aware that connected devices that aren’t properly secured can expose important personal and financial information.”

This year’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts include:

  1. Laptops and PCs
    Laptops and PCs make great gifts, however, malicious apps targeting PCs are unfortunately common, and are not just limited to Windows-based devices.
  2. Smartphones and Tablets
    Survey results revealed that 61% of consumers plan to purchase either a smartphone or tablet this holiday season. Just like PCs and laptops, malware could result in personal and financial information being stolen.
  3. Media Players and Streaming Sticks
    Media players and streaming sticks have changed the way consumers enjoy movies and TV, but consumers can unknowingly invite a cybercriminal into their living room by failing to update their device.
  4. Smart Home Automation Devices and Apps
    Today’s connected home devices and apps give users the power to control their homes from their smartphone. Unfortunately, hackers have demonstrated techniques that could be used to compromise Bluetooth-powered door locks and other home automation devices.
  5. Drones
    Drone sales are expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2022. They can provide unique perspectives when it comes to shooting video and photos. However, not properly securing the device could allow hackers to disrupt the GPS signal, or hijack your drone through its smartphone app.

Tips for Canadian Consumers to Protect Holiday Cheer
To stay protected for a happier and safer holiday season, Intel Security has the following tips:

  • Secure your device. Your device is the key to controlling your home and your personal information. Make sure you have comprehensive security software installed, like McAfee LiveSafe™.
  • Only use secure Wi-Fi. Using your devices, such as your smart home applications, on public Wi-Fi could leave you and your home open to risk.
  • Keep software up-to-date. Apply patches as they are released from the manufacturer. Install manufacturer updates right away to ensure that your device is protected from the latest known threats.
  • Use a strong password or PIN. If your device supports it, use multi-factor authentication (MFA) as it can include factors like a trusted device, your face, fingerprint, etc. to make your login more secure
  • Check before you click. Be suspicious of links from people you do not know and always use internet security software to stay protected. Hover over the link to find a full URL of the link’s destination in the lower corner of their browser.

Find More Information:

To learn more about the list and survey, check out:
o Blog post from Gary Davis:
Twitter: Follow @IntelSecurity for live online safety updates and tips. Use hashtag #safeholiday to discuss the Most Hackable Gifts of 2016

Survey Methodology
In September 2016, Intel Security commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 9,800 consumers (aged 18-55+). Respondents were individuals who use an internet-enabled device on a daily basis in the following regions: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.

About Intel Security
Intel Security, with its McAfee product line, is dedicated to making the digital world safer and more secure for everyone. Intel Security is a division of Intel Corporation. Learn more at

Intel Security in Canada maintains a website called “The State of Consumer and Enterprise Security in Canada” ( in order to provide a one-stop shop for writers looking for information on a variety of trends and issues affecting and shaping the Canadian security landscape. Feel free to check out the Intel Security resource site for security information, statistics, story ideas, and access to published Intel Security surveys and studies.

Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
No computer system can be absolutely secure

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*No computer system can be absolutely secure.