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Tech set to manage homes

McAfee’s latest Safeguarding 2025 study has revealed that consumers believe technology will play a huge part in home automation. 68% believe their fridges will automatically order groceries, while the majority are convinced their security systems will be linked to their mobile devices.

McAfee has released findings from its ‚ÄòSafeguarding 2025′ study, which examines the thoughts and attitudes of more than 8 000 consumers globally 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.

Consumers believe that in the coming decade, technology and devices will drastically improve the experience of managing their home. More than half (56%) people plan to have a house that speaks or reads to them in 11 years. More than 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.

“As technology, especially the Internet of Things, continues to rapidly advance and increasingly connect our everyday lives, we understand consumers are concerned about how these changes will impact their safety and privacy,” said Trevor Coetzee, Regional Director South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa at McAfee. “With this study, we hope to shine a light on these matters and expectations so industry can best integrate new innovations with consumer’s online security and privacy in mind.

Among other highlights, the research provides insight into how consumers view cybersecurity, wearables and their means of transportation in 2025.


According to the survey, 63% of people are concerned about what the state of cybersecurity will be 11 years from now. Nearly two-thirds of 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, many feel hesitant in sharing personal information or adopting these technologies in fear of becoming a victim of a cybercrime.


The 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.

Wearables Sixty-eight percent of consumers think the most common device in 11 years will be a smart watch and 57% of respondents believe overall wearable devices will be commonly used. More than half (57%) of consumers anticipate connected kitchen appliances will be a household item. “It’s clear that in 2025, consumers will be expecting more from their devices. The introduction of wearables and other artificial intelligence will help simplify our lives,” continued Coetzee. “While consumers look forward to more convenience, they also understand the importance of balancing this convenience with the need to feel safe.” Tech in the Workplace

In the next decade, consumers anticipate seeing significant changes in their places of employment. While one in four (26%) of working consumers think they will be working from a home office, 74% envision artificial intelligence and robotics assisting with their job tasks. Sixty-six 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.

“It is vital that consumers recognise that the world of work will be dramatically different within a decade, in changing workplaces, the role of robots, and the importance of online reputation,” said Coetzee. “We will all need to be very careful to ensure that our online activities boost rather than detract from our professional reputations.

Other key findings include:

Cover Your Digital Assets By 2025, 42% of consumers expect to unlock their mobile device by eye scan followed by a thumbprint at 31%. Almost all of respondents (89%) plan to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in the future after taking the survey. Pay by Phone‚Ķor Fingerprint Twenty-nine percent of consumers believe they will be able to pay for items using their fingerprint while 23% anticipate they will use their mobile device. A fifth of consumers (21%) plan to still pay by credit or debit card. Green Means Go Thirty-five percent of people think they will get around by a hybrid vehicle or a self-driving car (21%) in 2025. More than two out of three people (68%) think there will be car models available in 2025 that will be completely autopilot. Your App Will Know Best Sixty-eight percent of 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.

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