Study Finds Large Number of American Families Use ‘Pretty Bad’ Cybersecurity Practices

National Cyber Security Alliance finds 40% of 1,400 families surveyed haven’t changed the default password on their wireless router.

Is your family doing enough to keep your home network cybersafe?

A new study conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance found mixed results from the 1,400 American adults surveyed. The study found 75% of parents said they’ve talked with their kids about “CyberEd,” and 90% have at least one rule about Internet and app use.

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While those numbers are encouraging, the study also found only 40% of the parents require their kids to ask for permission before downloading apps or signing up for a social network. Less than a third of the parents forbid their children from downloading pirated games, movies and songs, which are increasingly likely to bring about computer infections. Downloading pirated materials is also illegal.

The study also found 40% of homes with at least one Internet-connected device haven’t changed their default password on their wireless router, which is the most basic step to secure their networks. Not changing the default password makes it easier for hackers to find their way into a family’s home, as detailed in a CBS News report.

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Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA, which commissioned the study along with ESET, said the finding was “pretty bad.”

“The wireless router is most people’s main connection out of their house for all their devices, so it’s a key part of their security,” he said.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.

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