Photo - Jimmy Fong, Channel Sales Director, SEA, Kaspersky Lab.
According to a survey by infosecurity provider Kaspersky Lab, 'digital amnesia' is increasing in Malaysia in common with a worldwide trend driven by over-relying on smartphones.
Kaspersky Lab's SEA channel sales director Jimmy Fong said the online survey, which polled 1,001 Malaysians, showed how digital devices and the Internet were impacting the way consumers recall and use information. Similar surveys were also conducted in other countries.
According to Mr. Jimmy Fong, Channel Sales Director, SEA, Kaspersky Lab, 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 has made us more vulnerable to data loss or compromised data," said Fong, adding that while such devices were enhancing "our daily lives, our growing dependency has been increasing 'Digital Amnesia.' "
Dependency among Malaysians on the Internet and devices as a tool for remembering and as an extension of their brain is similar to patterns around the world, he said "Ninety one percent of Americans and 89.3 percent of Malaysians depend on the Internet and devices followed by Europeans at 79.5 percent."
Universal reference book
Fong said that Malaysia's respondents (72.6 percent) also said that the Internet was more convenient to reference information compared to libraries or books. Similarly, 61 percent of Europeans agreed that the Internet was "a universal reference book."
He said that Malaysians demonstrate better memory when it comes to recalling the current phone numbers of their family and friends. Thirty five percent (35 percent) and fifty percent (50 percent) of the Malaysian respondents could recall their children's and office phone numbers, respectively. Compared to Europeans in the survey, more than half could not recall their children and office number without referring to their mobile phones.
Fong said smartphones have become a "necessity for many of us, as they have become an extension of the human brain. In Malaysia, an astonishing 8.5 million smartphones were bought by consumers between January to December 2014."
"Although the online-enabled devices offer us insight and intelligence but at the same time it leaves us exposed to threats and vulnerabilities," he said, adding that according to the survey, only 48.4 percent of Malaysians installed some form of IT security product to protect the 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 percent of Americans, 43.8 percent of Malaysians and 40 percent of European respondents it could "cause immense distress."
However, 23.8 percent of Malaysian respondents said would keep calm in this situation as they claim to have memorised the vital information on their mobile devices and keep hard copies of pictures, said Fong.
He said that in the second quarter of 2015, Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled a total of 379 million malicious attacks from online resources globally. Similarly, Kaspersky Lab mobile security products detected 291,887 new malicious mobile programs in the same quarter. Mobile ransomware also recorded significant number of cases in first quarter of 2015 with 23.2 percent of new mobile threats in Q1 2015.
"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 the information is kept safely," said Fong.
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