When Googling it doesn't work: The challenge of finding security advice for smart home devices

by   Sarah Turner, et al.

As users increasingly introduce Internet-connected devices into their homes, having access to accurate and relevant cyber security information is a fundamental means of ensuring safe use. Given the paucity of information provided with many devices at the time of purchase, this paper engages in a critical study of the type of advice that home Internet of Things (IoT) or smart device users might be presented with on the Internet to inform their cyber security practices. We base our research on an analysis of 427 web pages from 234 organisations that present information on security threats and relevant cyber security advice. The results show that users searching online for information are subject to an enormous range of advice and news from various sources with differing levels of credibility and relevance. With no clear explanation of how a user may assess the threats as they are pertinent to them, it becomes difficult to understand which pieces of advice would be the most effective in their situation. Recommendations are made to improve the clarity, consistency and availability of guidance from recognised sources to improve user access and understanding.


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