Staying safe & secure online this Christmas, with McAfee

Being a Mother to a home full of gamers – yes, even the 4year old – we know how incredibly important it is to remain secure on our devices, while online. People, young & old, around the world will no doubt have some form of technological device on their wish list this Christmas. Not thinking for a second that each one of those devices can be hacked if not made properly secure. 

A London survey recently showed that a whopping 45% of people are planning to buy a device, whether it be a smartphone, a tablet, laptop, connected toy or even a  Smart TV for someone, this Christmas. Being in the digital age – buying digital gifts is top of the British public shopping lists. Children of just ten years old will be opening up their brand new smartphones and as many as 22% of younger children will be getting a technology abled connected toy this festive season. This is 7% more than 2016.

According to research, smart home devices are the most hackable and as little as one in five of those people are aware of the security measures that they need to take. One in five. 

This year’s most hackable gifts {in order} are:

  • Laptops/Smartphones & Tablets
  • Drones
  • Digitial assistants
  • Connected toys
  • Connected appliances

Kids nowadays cannot avoid the digital takeover and it’s clear how naive they are when it comes to being more security savvy when using their devices. McAfee asked a group of children on what they thought of security threats – check out the video below for these 5 – 10 year olds hilarious reactions to their parent’s questions about how they use their devices. 

Online gaming can open up so many security risks that it is important to monitor your child, while they’re online. Admittedly, it’s not something we can do all of the time, but we can check in, go through their history, make sure they’re not befriending anyone they don’t know etc.

For example, Roblox is a much-loved game in our home. My 12, 9 & 4 year olds all play it with their own accounts. I check them every few days to make sure they are aware of ‘stranger danger’, only playing with the people from school, and that they haven’t added anyone they don’t know. I also check their chat history because you can never be too safe when it comes to keeping your children safe online. I even run a weekly virus & malware check on the home desktops to make sure we remain secure while we’re all online. 

People who are buying these devices, need to be more aware of how vulnerable they are when using them without the proper security measures taken. Using these devices opens yourself up to cybercriminals to steal your personal & financial information, as well as infecting your devices with malware & viruses. 

Aside from the child’s naivety when it comes to online activity, it’s reassuring to hear that they aren’t so willing to hand over any personal information if/when prompted – however, it’s the adults {36%} are the ones more willing to hand out personal information such as their home address & date of birth. 

A few handy tips to help keep you & your devices safe this festive season {and beyond!}:

  • Think before you click – Cybercriminals can sometimes just have a door to the personal information stored on your computer, opened for them. Think before you click on something you are aren’t aware of. 
  • Protect your home network – Secure all of your home devices & your home network with McAfee Secure Home Platform – this software will help you keep all of your connected devices safe & secure. 
  • Beware of shady hotspots -Cybercriminals can often set up ‘fake’ wifi hotspots to gain access to your browsing habits & personal information. Be wary if you’re into using wifi hotspots! If you do rely on public wifi networks, use VPN {Virtual Private Network} such as McAfee Safe Connect to encrypt your network traffic. 

If you have something digital wrapped up under your tree for someone this Christmas, do make sure you do your homework into staying safe from cybercriminals and being secure if and when you and your family go online. 

*This is a collaborative post



  1. 20/12/2017 / 1:38 AM

    This is a great post. It’s really scary how easily hackable are gadgets are, and how vunerable we are! Many people just aren’t aware of the dangers! Also..I didn’t know you could hack drones too! Eek!

  2. 20/12/2017 / 2:22 AM

    It is so important to stay safe online this time of the year!! Really great post and food for thought

    Laura x

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