HP survey highlights webcam security and privacy behaviors

Date : 07/17/2019 @ 7:37PM
Source : GlobeNewswire Inc.
Stock : HP Inc (HPQ)
Quote : 18.96  0.05 (0.26%) @ 12:59AM

HP survey highlights webcam security and privacy behaviors

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HP Inc. today released the results of a unique study4 that works to better understand the level of awareness associated with webcam hacking and how consumers changed their behavior as a result.

The concern around webcam privacy has permeated into pop culture, from headline grabbing images of well-known figures covering their webcams with post-its to storyline arcs in popular TV shows. To uncover how people associate webcam usage with their day-to-day, HP commissioned a survey of approximately 3,000 individuals across North America, including 1,000 US consumers that own a laptop with an internal webcam.

Based on the US results of the survey, 8 in 10 consumers are aware privacy can be comprised via their laptop webcam5, and more than 6 in 10 consumers are actually concerned that their privacy will be compromised6. How respondents heard about webcam hacking is equally fascinating7; among US respondents, 43 percent learned about webcam hacking through social media, with 40 percent via a movie or television show. And webcam hacking is also a topic of conversation among friends and family, with 38 percent of respondents hearing about webcam hacking via word of mouth8. Equally shocking, 1 in 10 respondents either know someone whose webcam was hacked or have themselves been hacked via their webcam9.

Less than half of consumers feel comfortable leaving their laptop open – with highest levels of discomfort in more intimate activities, including using the bathroom (81 percent), being intimate (80 percent) and sleeping (63 percent). Even more casual and mundane activities had a large degree of discomfort, from crying (64 percent), working out (55 percent), to eating dinner (46 percent)10.

Because of this discomfort, 3 in 4 respondents said if they were in view of their laptop’s webcam they would either turn it off, cover it, or close their laptop to get out of view11. And 6 in 10 respondents physically cover their laptop’s webcam to feel more secure or prevent it from being compromised, using everything from tape (46 percent), or a sticky note (35 percent), to a bandage (8 percent), or even a piece of gum (2 percent)12.

However, while knowledge and concern around webcam hacking affects all generations equally, awareness doesn’t always equate to action. For example, 80 percent of Baby Boomers are aware of the issue of webcam hacking, but only 49 percent have covered their webcams to feel more secure13.

The issue of webcam hacking also varies by gender, with women feeling significantly more vulnerable (67 percent of women vs. 59 percent of men) concerning their privacy being comprised via their laptop webcam14.

There are even differences regionally on the use of and concerns around laptop webcams. While only one in 10 US and Canadian respondents knew someone or themselves experienced laptop webcam hacking, that number jumped to one in 5 in Mexico15. Mexico also experienced higher levels of discomfort doing activities in view of a webcam. For more information on study breakouts by country, view the Webcam Survey Country Fact Sheet here.  

Finally, more than 8 in 10 consumers believe laptop manufacturers should make it easier to turn off a laptop’s webcam16. Nearly half of respondents believe it takes too much effort to turn off a webcam in a laptop’s settings17, and 79 percent wish they could turn it off with the flip of a switch18, similar to the HP webcam kill switch feature found on new HP Spectre and HP ENVY laptops, to help life move without interruption and give people peace of mind to be themselves.

To learn more about the study conducted by HP, including infographics, hi-res images, b-roll, and in-depth fact sheet with detailed findings, visit the HP Webcam Survey Press Kit at the HP Press Center. To learn more about PCs with HP’s webcam kill switch feature, click here.

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com.

Jenni Balthrop, HPjenni.balthrop@hp.com  www.hp.com/go/newsroomLynsey Rose, EdelmanLynsey.Rose@edelman.comNatalen Bandler, Edelman Intelligencenatalen.bandler@edelmanintelligence.com

©Copyright 2019 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

____________________1 US results from Q1 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: “To the best of your knowledge, which of the following do you think can be compromised?”2 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: “How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”3 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”4 US results from Q1 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: The HP Webcam Security Study is a 10-minute online survey by HP Inc. It was conducted by global market research firm Edelman Intelligence, across North America (US, Canada, Mexico). Fieldwork took place over May-June 2019. We interviewed 3,000 consumers (1,000 in each market) who own a laptop with an internal webcam.5 US results from Q1 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: “To the best of your knowledge, which of the following do you think can be compromised?”6 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”7 US results from Q1a of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”Where have you heard about the possibility of someone’s privacy being compromised via a laptop webcam? By compromised we mean an outside person/party getting unauthorized access to someone else’s webcam and spying through it (commonly known as “hacking” or a “security breach”)?8 US results from Q1a of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”Where have you heard about the possibility of someone’s privacy being compromised via a laptop webcam? By compromised we mean an outside person/party getting unauthorized access to someone else’s webcam and spying through it (commonly known as “hacking” or a “security breach”)?9 US results from Q1a of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”Where have you heard about the possibility of someone’s privacy being compromised via a laptop webcam? By compromised we mean an outside person/party getting unauthorized access to someone else’s webcam and spying through it (commonly known as “hacking” or a “security breach”)?10US results from Q5 and Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019:  ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”; “How comfortable would you feel doing the following activities while you are in view of your laptop’s webcam?”11 US results from Q6 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”If you were in the view of your laptop’s webcam while you were doing the following, what would you be most likely to do?” (net of “turn off my laptop’s webcam/physically cover my laptop’s webcam with something/close my laptop)12 US results from Q4 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”What have you physically covered your laptop’s webcam with to feel more secure and/or prevent it from being compromised?”13 US results from Q1 and Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: “: “To the best of your knowledge, which of the following do you think can be compromised?”; : ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”14 US results from Q2 and Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How vulnerable do you feel your privacy is  being compromised via your laptop’s webcam (i.e., it being accessed by someone remotely)?”; “How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”15 Canada, Mexico and US results from Q1 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: “To the best of your knowledge, which of the following do you think can be compromised?”16 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”17 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about your laptop’s webcam?”18 US results from Q7 of the HP Webcam Security Study, 2019: ”How much do you agree or disagree with the following about you laptop’s webcam?”

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