As our lives become more connected, fears arise: McAfee study

  • 60% cite identity theft, monetary theft and fraud as their biggest concerns
  • 82% convinced their home security systems will be connected to their mobiles

As our lives become more connected, fears arise: McAfee studyA STUDY by McAfee shows that 68% of consumers think the most common device in 11 years will be a smart watch and 57% respondents believe overall wearable devices will be commonly used.
Furthermore, 56% of consumers anticipate connected kitchen appliances will be a household item, the company said in a statement, adding that while most people believe that technology will improve lives, there is growing concern about security and privacy.
“Consumers foresee that technology will be highly integrated in their daily lives and work through advancements in technology like artificial intelligence and wearables,” said David Freer, vice president of the Asia Pacific consumer unit at McAfee.
“And while they can make tasks more convenient, consumers are understandably mindful of the potential risks on security and privacy that comes with the benefits,” he added.
READ ALSO: New Apple wares excite … only up to a point: Analysts
McAfee, part of Intel Security, has released findings from its Future of Technology: 2025 study, which examines the thoughts and attitudes of more than 7,000 consumers from 12 countries about lifestyle and technology trends.
The study provides insights into how technology impacts people’s homes, workplace, cars, wearables, mobile devices and how these technologies intersect with their online security and privacy, the company said.
MSI Research conducted an online survey among 7,092 adults ages 21 to 65. The study was conducted in four regions: North America (United States, Canada), Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, The Netherlands), Asia Pacific (Japan, India) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico).
The survey was split evenly among age and gender. The interviews were conducted from Aug 1-12, 2014.
Consumers believe that in the coming decade, technology and devices will drastically improve the experience of managing their home.
Nearly three out of five (56%) people plan to have been to a house that speaks or reads to them in 11 years. More than two-thirds of the people (68%) think their refrigerator will automatically add food to a running grocery list if the product is running low.
The majority of consumers (82%) are convinced their home security systems will be connected to their mobile device.
“Data security and privacy is a constant, if not increasing, concern among consumers as technology continues to evolve and accelerates interconnectivity between devices and platforms,” said Freer.
“By revealing a bit of how consumers envision the future of technology in their lives, we hope the study encourages industry players to always consider consumers’ digital safety as they make more exciting developments to their products and services,” he added.
Among other highlights, the research provides insight into how consumers view cybersecurity, wearables and their means of transportation in 2025.
According to the survey, 64% of consumers are concerned about what the state of cybersecurity will be 11 years from now.
Nearly three in five consumers (60%) stated identity theft, monetary theft and fraud as the biggest concerns. This is not surprising given the near-daily reports about retail and financing institutions being hacked.
With new innovations arising every day to make consumers’ lives increasingly connected, consumers may feel hesitant in sharing personal information or adopting these technologies in fear of becoming a victim of a cybercrime, McAfee said.
As our lives become more connected, fears arise: McAfee studyThe study also revealed that as many as 73% of consumers fear their families could fall victim to hackers over the next decade. More than half (54%) believe their families will be affected by cyberbullies in 2025.
With the number of social networking working sites and the people who frequent them growing, the likelihood of consumers experiencing negative encounters online increases.
“As concerns about security rise, we will likely shift in the ways in which we provide authentication,” said Ross Dawson, futurist and author.
“This may include using unique biometric information, potentially including our fingerprints, faces, voices, eyes, or even thought-waves,” he added.
“People have just started to understand that their personal data is not some ethereal thing,” said Brian Johnson, Intel futurist.
“They haven’t quite figured out what’s appropriate for others to know about that data. For instance, we don’t blurt out our credit card information when we walk into a room. Why would we want our data do that online?” he added.
Tech in the workplace
In the next decade, consumers anticipate seeing significant changes in their places of employment.
While one in three (32%) of working consumers think they will be working from a home office, three out of four (74%) envision artificial intelligence and robotics assisting with their job tasks.
However, this percentage is significantly lower in Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Fifty-four percent believe they will be able to access work data through facial or voice recognition.
While it is likely that greater precautions will be taken to ensure sensitive work information remains secure, robotics in the workplace may result in companies being more susceptible to cyber-related crimes.
Other findings:

  • Cover your digital assets: By 2025, 42% of consumers expect to unlock their mobile device by eye scan followed by a thumbprint. The majority of respondents in India (54%) think that they will be unlocking their devices by eye scan. Almost all of respondents (90%) plan to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in the future after taking the survey.
  • Pay by phone … or fingerprint: Three in ten (29%) consumers believes they will be able to pay for items using their fingerprint while 23% anticipate they will use their mobile device. One in five respondents (21%) plan to still pay by credit or debit card. Specifically in Japan, nearly half (49%) of consumers still believe they will be paying with debit or credit card in 2025.
  • Green means go: 35% of people think consumers will get around by a hybrid vehicle or a self-driving car (21%) in 2025, while 68% of consumers think there will be car models available in 2025 that will be completely autopilot.
  • Your app will know best: Seven out of ten (68%) consumers believe a wearable device will send health vitals directly to their physician, saving a visit to the doctor’s office. More than one in three (36%) people think there will be an online digital health check with sensors running over their bodies to relay signs of illness.
  • Impact of online persona: Many of the workers (45%) are concerned that their online persona will impact their ability to advance in the workplace. This concern is the highest in India (80%).
  • Being online – the Internet in 2025: The German (68%) and Dutch (57%) people think the Internet will more likely be less social in 2025 unlike the other countries. Most of the Japanese (79%) and Indian (57%) people think the Internet will more likely be more private.

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