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Home Wi-Fi Security "Reminiscent of PCs in the 90s" Says Avast

Weak password credentials are chief among the reasons that over 75% of UK and US home Wi-Fi networks are at risk of attack, according to a survey conducted by Avast on over 2000 households in each nation.

The antivirus software provider claims that over half of all routers in surveyed homes had poor, default or common password combinations. Many home Wi-Fi networks have easily hackable access credentials including combinations such as ‘admin/admin’, ‘admin/password’ or ‘admin/<no password>’.

A quarter of consumers (25% US, 23% UK) are also guilty of using their address, name, phone number, street name, or other easily-guessed terms as their passwords.

Avast highlighted that unsecure home networks are vulnerable to attack from cyber-criminals, such as DNS hijacking, where users are redirected from known sites to imposter web pages that can then be used to capture further credentials, such as online banking details.

Vince Steckler, chief executive officer of Avast said that that “lax attitudes towards security” of home networks is creating a security environment “reminiscent of PCs in the 1990s.” He also cautioned that “people have much more personal information stored on their devices today than they did back then.” 

Over one in seven surveyed in both the UK and US reported that they had fallen victim to hackers, and fewer than half of respondents on both sides of the Atlantic believe their home network is secure. The most pressing concerns highlighted by respondents were financial information being stolen (43%), data loss (32%), losing photos (11%) and having their browsing history stolen (11%).

Perhaps most significantly, the report found that 88% of UK houses now have six or more Wi-Fi connected devices, ranging from mobile devices to smart TVs, printers and scanners.

With Cisco research predicting that internet-connected devices could number 25 billion by next year, poor consumer understanding of security on home networks will continue to create more opportunities for hackers to exploit weaknesses.

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