Commentary

Marketing Meets Security Risks; 58% Of Consumers Concerned

Along with connected TVs, smart thermostats and smartphone-controlled door locks come concerns about just how private and secure those connected things are.

Many consumers already have experienced a security incident and even more are worried about one in the future.

More than half (58%) of consumers are very or highly concerned about potential hacking and data theft against their connected devices, according to a new study.

And it’s not only the future that worries consumers.

More than a third (37%) already experienced a security incident or privacy problem in the past, based on the survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by security company BullGuard.

Security concerns don’t relate to only one area. Consumers have a range of concerns, including:

  • 68% -- Security risks like viruses, malware and hackers
  • 65% -- Data collected by device manufacturers
  • 51% -- Privacy breaches

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Concerns also are not only in the heads of novice or non-technical users of IoT devices. The survey found that 24% of consumers with advanced technical skills also are not confident in their ability to keep their connected devices secure.

As an example, more than a third (36%) said they don’t know how to change their home router’s password and 61% don’t know how to configure a router to keep a home network secure.

However, 83% said they were capable of setting up their own router, the typical gateway to home networks and where smart devices likely will pass through.

This will matter to marketers since messaging going through connected devices has to be perceived as private and secure.

Consumers will want to know precisely what information they are sharing with brands, which increasingly will have access to consumers via smart, connected devices.

These interactions will range from simple communications driven by sensors in self-monitoring objects to sophisticated marketing messaging driven by knowledge of past, present and highly probably future activities.

Before any of that happens at scale, consumers will have to be convinced that all is secure.

And it will have to be so.

 

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