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McAfee: Profound Shift In Everyday Technology Highlights New Landscape Of Personal Security

AUCKLAND, New Zealand Jan. 27, 2021 – McAfee Corp. (Nasdaq: MCFE) today announced findings from its 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report revealing that while the shift to a digital-first life was brought on by the global pandemic, New Zealand consumers plan to keep it up – with online banking (80%), social engagements (61%), and personal shopping (53%), at the top of the list. With the increase in activities online, consumers are potentially exposed to more cyber threats. Notably, 67% of the people in New Zealand say they’re concerned about today’s cyber risks, with over a third (35%) of respondents admitting that they aren’t confident in their ability to prevent a cyber-attack.

As consumers continue to adapt to and embrace their new digital worlds, cyber criminals are looking to take advantage. The more time consumers spend online across various applications and services, the greater their exposure is to potential risks and threats (such as third-party breaches, phishing attacks or fraud). Further proof this is a big concern for consumers: McAfee found that nearly three quarters (73%) of New Zealanders were most concerned about their financial data being compromised and 68% were concerned that their personal information, such as birthday or address, could be stolen.

“The first step in protecting ourselves is realising that there’s a lot we can do to stay safe online and to preserve our digital wellness,” said Terry Hicks, EVP of McAfee’s Consumer Business. “It’s better to prevent a problem then be in a position of having to fix it. We can always work on our own safe online habits – from the apps we install, to the websites we click on, to the emails we open. Making this shift in our mindset and behaviours is a necessity in protecting what we value most- our privacy and identity- giving us all much needed peace of mind.”

Consumer Digital-First Mindset Influenced by Shopping Habits

Consumers buying habits indicate how they are going about their new digital-first lives, with 67% of respondents having purchased at least one connected device in 2020, while 1 in 5 (20%) bought three connected devices. However, less than half (45%) purchased security software, and only a third (34%) actually check if their security software is up to date.

Consumers are also becoming more comfortable with sharing information online which is a big risk – especially as services often ask for multiple contact points. Notably, McAfee’s report found that 74% of respondents started using features designed for convenience in 2020, such as text and email notifications (46%), paperless transaction records (41%), web/mobile applications rather than desktop sites (37%), and opting to stay logged in or remember user credentials (34%).

Alongside not always taking the necessary security precautions, New Zealanders also admitted that they haven’t thought about why hackers might want their data. More than half of New Zealanders (65%) admitted that they never considered how much their online data is worth. Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit others for money, and a person’s identity is valuable and can be resold. However, 88% of consumers would be proactive about protecting said data, if it could be traded as a currency.

Digital boom keeps baby boomers savvy

McAfee’s research revealed baby boomers also used their time stuck indoors to adopt new technologies. Almost half (47%) of 55-74-year-olds introduced, or increased their use of digital tools to support their social lives, such as social media. A further 52% also started, or increased, their use of online banking, with 86% planning to continue this post-pandemic – the highest of any other age group.

Cyber concerns remain rife amongst 55-74-year-olds, who worry more than any other age groups about having banking details (78%) or personal information (71%) stolen. Baby boomers are however the most switched-on generation, as over half (51%) claim to always check if the software on their devices is up to date, compared to only 34% of 18-35 year olds. Yet, they do need to brush up on their digital skills, as 41% don’t feel confident in knowing how to prevent a cyber-attack.

Some ways consumers can protect themselves and their loved ones include:

  • Use multi-factor authenticationto double check the authenticity of digital users and add an additional layer of security to protect personal data and information.
  • Connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee® Safe Connect to help keep you safe while you’re online.
  • Browse with added security using a tool likeMcAfee WebAdvisorto block malware and phishing sites if you click on a malicious link.

McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report Methodology:

McAfee commissioned MSI-ACI to conduct an online questionnaire to 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in New Zealand between December 11-23, 2020.

This press release only includes data from the NZ. survey. Additional surveys were conducted in Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Australia, Singapore, India and Indonesia. Data for these regions can be requested via media contact below.

Additional Resources:

· Blog from Judith Bitterli: New Year, New Digital You: Consumer Security Findings from McAfee’s Latest Report

About McAfee

McAfee Corp. (Nasdaq: MCFE) is a leader in personal security for consumers. Focused on protecting people, not just devices, McAfee consumer solutions adapt to users’ needs in an always online world, empowering them to live securely through integrated, intuitive solutions that protects their families and communities with the right security at the right moment. For more information, please visit https://www.mcafee.com/consumer

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