A study that delved into the digital behaviour of Canadians also challenged some widely held misconceptions regarding young people and their attachment to the Internet. For instance, when it comes to staying away from the Internet, vacationing millennials have far better resolve than their Gen X counterparts, according to Intel Security’s Digital Detox: Unplugging on Summer Vacation study.
Fifty-one per cent of Canadians in their 20s said they were had gone on a vacation with the intention to unplug, while only 35 per cent of those Canadian respondents between 40 and 50 years of age had done so.
Intel found that roughly 64 per cent of Canadian respondents define being unplugged as having no internet usage at all, while half said being unplugged means they did not make any phone calls.
The study also found that men are better at unplugging than women. Fifty-seven per cent of men said they intend to unplug while on vacation, compared to only 44 per cent of women who said they intended to do the same.
Here’s a brief look at some of the stats:
- 51 per cent of Canadians in their 20s go on vacation with the intention to unplug, compared to only 35 per cent of Canadians in their 40s
- 55 per cent of Canadian travelers who intend to unplug from their digital devices on vacation is unable to do so
- 79 per cent of Canadians connects to the Internet while they are on vacation
- 58 per cent of Canadians admitted to checking their personal and work email at least once a day, every day while on vacation, putting sensitive company information at jeopardy
- 71 per cent of Canadians who did unplug during their vacation, said unplugging made their vacation more enjoyable
“Consumers rely on technology to stay connected to their physical and digital worlds – whether at work, home or on vacation,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security. “People are often quick to use devices on vacation to access sensitive information without considering the potential risk. As a result, it’s crucial to impart safe digital habits to help consumers stay more secure when traveling.”
Learning to unplug during vacation can be rewarding, according to the study:
- More than half (54 per cent) of Canadian participants who intended to unplug from their digital devices on vacation were unable to do so.
- Seventy-one per cent of Canadian survey participants said their vacation was more enjoyable after unplugging. They were able to better absorb their surroundings and feel more connected to the people they were with.
- Roughly 57 per cent of Canadians said it did not stress them out that they were unplugged from work and life back at home.
- Canadian men are more willing to leave their phone at home while going on vacation. Roughly 45 per cent of men said they would leave their phones behind, while only 39 per cent of women said that they would.
- Canadians were the most successful at abstaining from social media use (61 per cent) while on vacation compared to French (60 per cent), Mexicans (54 per cent), Germans (54 per cent), Americans (53 per cent), Dutch (51 per cent), Brazilians (51 per cent), Spaniards (44 per cent) and Singaporeans (42 per cent)
- Canadians were the second most successful at abstaining from work emails (60 per cent) while on vacation compared to Singaporeans (61 per cent), Germans (59 per cent), Mexicans (59 per cent), the French (56 per cent), Dutch (54 per cent), Brazilians (53 per cent), Spaniards (52 per cent) and Americans (49 per cent)
If they can’t stay away from the Internet, people need to be more vigilant on how they protect their data and their privacy, according to Davis.
Here are some of the strategies people can employ:
- Create Social Walls: We know how boring waiting in airports can be and often times this boredom can lead to posting updates from your mobile device. Whether it’s your location or that selfie where your hair looks just right, criminals are more able to monitor your whereabouts via social activity and take advantage of you when you have the weakest protection.
- Be Careful When You Share: We love to share our experiences with friends and family via social media, but it’s important to not indicate publicly where or when you’ll be taking that relaxing vacation. Wait until you return home before posting all about it; otherwise, you could leave yourself open to would-be thieves who want to know when your home will be vacant.
- Limit Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Use: Data can be expensive, but switching on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when out and about can be a recipe for disaster. Connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices can expose your personal information to a cybercriminal. You should be especially careful when exchanging payment information. With this in mind, make sure to update your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi history by removing previously ‘remembered’ wireless networks, like ‘cafewifi.’
- Check and Monitor Your Accounts: Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your bank account history. If you aren’t meticulous about monitoring your activity, a criminal could have access to your accounts for quite some time before you are aware.
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