Survey Shows Consumers Want Simpler Online Protection from Internet Service Providers
Growth of connected devices in the home leaves consumers feeling more vulnerable
Redwood City, Calif., September 23, 2015 – Consumers are looking for greater simplicity when it comes to their online security according to recent research commissioned by Nominum™. Consumers find their digital world expanding at an astounding pace with more and more Internet-connected “things” from computers, tablets and smartphones to gaming systems, thermostats, cameras, smart TVs, appliances and more. Many feel less secure and are looking for uncomplicated security solutions from their Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Nominum commissioned an online survey conducted by market research firm YouGov in July 2015 that polled 1,106 consumers in the United States. The most interesting result was 63% of consumers surveyed would like it if their current ISP provided one simple solution to increase security across all their connected devices. In fact, a majority (51%) agreed they would switch to another provider if they offered a higher level of online protection, without additional monthly charges.
Another surprising detail was 58% of consumers have either never changed their home gateway or router password, didn’t know how, or haven’t changed it in more than a year. Up to 22% have never changed their home gateway password at all. This is despite explosive publicity surrounding growth in Internet vulnerabilities, and many expert security recommendations to change default passwords on gateways and routers. Other key survey discoveries include:
- Nearly half (49%) of all respondents stated they are adequately protected from online threats on their computers, tablets and smartphones
- The majority (52%) feel they understand Internet security well enough to choose, install and maintain the right security tools for their own home
- However, consumer confidence drops when other connected home devices (e.g. gaming consoles, smart TVs, thermostats and other Internet-enabled devices) are taken into consideration, with just 37% feeling they are adequately protected from online threats
- Only 36% admitted installing security tools to protect connected devices beyond computers, tablets and cellphones
- Complex security solutions are not helping as 80% of those who responded that they did not feel adequately protected online would prefer wanting a simpler solution
“Old threats like Phishing continue and the growing number of connected devices in the home creates even more exposure for consumers and their families. ISPs have a great opportunity to deliver a better, safer online experience for everybody and every connected device in the home,” said John Arledge, general manager of applications at Nominum. “Consumers are looking for a straightforward, uncomplicated solution that keeps up with fast moving online threats without burdening performance or their user experience.”
Overall ISPs are doing a good job educating customers about security tools they make available, but there is still room for improvement. Of those surveyed, 48% believe they understood the security tools offered to them by their service provider, while 27% were unaware.
There are a few things consumers can do to be better protected online:
- If you supply your own home gateway/router take the time to familiarize yourself with it – These devices are often overlooked but can create exposure. Change the password used to log in. Hackers scan the Internet looking for devices they can login to and control. Passwords should be more than eight characters (more is better) and contain a mix of letters, capital letters, special characters and numbers.
- Take advantage of tools service providers offer – Check your service provider’s website or call the customer care line to learn about available security tools. Anti-virus software, educational resources and other tools, services and options are often offered.
- If you have children, utilize parental controls – More advanced parental control options allow you to set up rules and policies regarding Internet behavior for your entire family.
- Research and familiarize yourself with all your connected devices – The wide range of devices in connected homes opens many more potential points of attack. Understand devices and learn how to ensure software and firmware is being upgraded.
Nominum leads the industry with N2, a new kind of platform for Service Providers that transforms DNS from network service to integrated system fulfilling diverse needs for Network Operations, Security, Customer Care, and Marketing teams. An “Arc of Value” enabled with N2 lets providers of all sizes and types reduce operating costs while enhancing the subscriber experience, protecting against fast changing threats, increasing promotional reach, improving support, and deeply understanding customer needs. N2 has all the essentials built-in: blazing DNS performance with fine-grained service controls, and 100% availability with superior DNS-based DDoS and cache poisoning defenses. Nominum is a global organization headquartered in Redwood City, California, with deployments at nine of the top 10 providers worldwide and presence in more than 40 countries. Learn more at https://www.nominum.com.
Bruce Van Nice