ESET survey finds disconnect between consumer attitudes and actions toward connected home privacy

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SAN DIEGO, Calif., October 8, 2019 – ESET, a global leader in IT security, today released the findings of its survey on consumer attitudes and actions toward the cybersecurity and privacy of the connected home. The survey was held to support the 16th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. ESET polled 4,000 consumers (2,000 Americans and 2,000 Canadians) in order to understand what people are doing to protect themselves from the risk of compromised smart home devices, such as internet-connected TVs, smart thermostats, home assistants and more. 

Key findings of ESET’s survey include:

  • Over a third of all respondents indicated they are concerned about unauthorized access of their home networks via connected home devices (smart TVs, smart thermostats etc.). 35% of Americans and 37% of Canadians indicated so in our survey.
  • When purchasing a smart home device, most Americans and Canadiansdo not evaluate the data the manufacturer collects or know where it is stored or with whom it is shared. Only 20% of American respondents and 29% of Canadian respondents indicated they do any of this type of research before purchasing a device.
  • Most Americans and Canadians indicated they have not changedtheir router passwordor do not know if it has ever been changed since installation. 57% of Americans and 61% of Canadians indicated so in our survey.
  • A plurality of Canadians turn off features that they do not use that collect data. Americans mostly do not do this. 42% of Canadian respondents turn off features they do not use that collect data. 61% of Americans do not turn off these types of features or do not know.

 The full results are published here.

 “It’s clear that there is a disconnect for consumers when it comes to the privacy and cybersecurity of their connected home devices,” said Tony Anscombe, global security evangelist and industry ambassador. “We’ve found that about a third of respondents in both Canada and the U.S. are concerned about the privacy of these devices, but those same respondents told us that only about one in five consumers does any research ahead of time on the data practices of their devices. Those numbers do not add up.”

 “To stay safe and secure online, we recommend setting strong and unique passwords for your devices, using two-factor authentication wherever possible, and conducting basic research about the data policies and practices of the devices you are using before you purchase them,” continued Anscombe. “Only buy devices from reputable manufacturers. Five minutes of research before you open your wallet could save you hours of time down the road in dealing with a data breach or an invasion of your privacy.”

Survey Methodology:
The ESET and NCSA Privacy Survey was conducted September 10-15, 2019, via Google Consumer Surveys. ESET and NCSA polled 4,000 consumers (2,000 Americans and 2,000 Canadians) in four separate surveys of 1,000 consumers each. The surveys have a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

About ESET:
For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide. With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give consumers and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology. ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company. Backed by R&D centers worldwide, ESET has become the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100 awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Ranson Burkette
(619) 876-5429