Built-in safety measures create a false sense of security

Security breach lock

It's increasingly common for hardware manufacturers and software developers to build in various security measures to protect users.

However, a new survey by cloud encryption company Alertsec reveals that these standard security precautions may be creating a false sense of security for PC and mobile users.


The Alertsec SMB 2015 Encryption Study, carried out among 1,255 small-to-medium businesses reveals that 68 percent believe auto-saved passwords are not secure. Nearly half (48 percent) believe never logging out of user profiles decreases security. Over one in five SMB executives (23 percent) believe lock down -- when functionality of the system is restricted -- is not secure, while 16 percent believe that locking out systems following multiple failed password attempts is also insecure.

"The real problem is the false sense of security these 'security precautions' create," says Ebba Blitz, President of Alertsec. "Computer manufacturers and software vendors offer a variety of built-in solutions that seem to protect you, but they are no match for the run-of-the-mill cybercriminal. That's why encryption is so important. Losing data could cause a problem of catastrophic proportions for any individual and any company".

87 percent of those surveyed say they fear data breaches. When pressed further most cited physical security fears, with 40 percent of respondents saying they fear leaving their laptop in the car and consequently having their identity stolen, 37 percent fear having their laptop stolen while working at a coffee shop, 30 percent fear burglars breaking into their homes and obtaining online banking information and 27 percent worry about having their laptop stolen at airport security and having their cloud storage and photo files breached.

Perhaps no surprise then that 68 percent say the problems they have seen at work have made them encrypt their personal computers. An impressive 90 percent say that work computers should be encrypted, followed by smartphones (61 percent), personal computers (58 percent) and tablets (55 percent).

More about how encryption can be used to secure devices is available on the Alertsec website.

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock

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