Growing dependency and reliance on the Net and devices as extension of the brain
Storing info on devices actively encourages our minds to erase information
MALAYSIANS have a better memory when it comes to recalling the current phone numbers of their family and friends – 35% and 50% of respondents in a Kaspersky Lab study could recall their children’s and office phone numbers respectively.
With Europeans in the same survey, more than half could not recall their children’s and office numbers without referring to their mobile phones, the company said in a statement.
In the old days, people used to memorise phone numbers or carry a personal diary containing contact numbers or contact cards. However, it is a different scenario today thanks to technology.
In the hyper-connected world, people have too many phone numbers, addresses, accounts, user names, passwords and so on to keep track of – which is why they resort to their devices to store such important information.
When we store information in our devices rather than in our brain, we actively encourage our minds to erase information, Kaspersky Lab said in its statement, calling this occurrence in human behaviour ‘Digital Amnesia.’
According to its South-East Asia channel sales director Jimmy Fong, connected devices have been enriching our daily lives, but the growth in dependency upon these devices also increases Digital Amnesia.
“Our growing inability to remember vital information and the overreliance on our devices have made us more vulnerable to data loss or compromised data.
“Digital Amnesia is a growing trend across all demographics. Kaspersky Lab believes that we need to understand and study the direction and long-term implications of this trend in order to ensure information is kept safely,” he added.
The company conducted a survey of 1,001 Malaysians aimed at better understanding how digital devices and the Internet affect the way consumers recall and use information; as well as their precautionary measures to protect it. Similar surveys were also conducted in other countries.
Participating countries faired almost equally on dependency on the Internet and devices as a tool for remembering and as an extension of their brain – 91% of Americans and 89.3% of Malaysians depend on the Internet and devices, followed by Europeans at 79.5%.
Malaysia’s respondents (72.6%) also stated that the Internet is more convenient to reference information compared with libraries or books. Similarly, 61% of Europeans admitted that the Internet is a universal reference book.
Smartphones have become an extension of the human brain for many of us. In Malaysia, an astonishing 8.5 million smartphones were bought by consumers between January and December 2014, according to market research firm GfK.
However, according to the Kaspersky Lab survey, only 48.4% of Malaysians installed some form of IT security product to protect the vital data on their smartphones.
The survey also showed that, when dealing with compromised or loss of data stored on a digital device, more than 51% of Americans, 43.8% of Malaysians and 40% of European respondents said it would cause immense distress.
However, 23.8% of Malaysian respondents said they keep calm in this scenario as they claim to have memorised the vital information on their mobile devices, and also keep hard copies of pictures.
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