Majority of Indians (54%) are not willing to leave their smartphone at home while on vacation, according to new study by Intel Security — “Digital Detox: Unplugging on Vacation”.
India defines being unplugged as having ‘no electronics usage at all (39%), and almost 65% of Indians claimed to have gone on vacation in the past year with the intention to be unplugged.
Travelers can be targets for cybercriminals who count on human and device vulnerabilities to provide them with a point of access to consumers’ data and devices. They can gain access to sensitive information via unsecured smartphones, laptops and even wearables, while also collecting data from social channels.
“Findings from the survey indicate that a huge majority of Indians (84%) connect to the internet while on vacation. Through this survey, we wanted to raise awareness about the need to adopt safe digital habits and share security measures to prevent personal information from being compromised while travelling,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Head of R&D Operations for Intel Security’s India Development Centre.
Findings from the survey indicate that more than one of three Indians (38%) who went on the vacation with the intent to unplug were not successful in doing so. As cybercriminals are on the lookout for such opportunities, consumers need to be vigilant and take precautionary security measures to prevent exploitation of their personal information.
Major findings from the India study as follows:
Vacay-Zen? Not if connecting to the internet while on vacation:
• 84% of Indians connect to the internet while they are on vacation
• Almost three out of four Indians (74%) say that they would want to be unplugged on a week-long vacation if work obligations were not a factor
• Majority of Indians (54%) are not willing to leave their smartphone at home while on vacation and Indians fared second worst globally (only Singapore was ahead at 42%) in being able to abstain from social media while on vacation at 43%
• Communication with the family (57%) or being available in case of emergencies (46%) are the main reasons that end up keeping people from being unplugged during vacations
Indians need to be vigilant:
• Indians (31%) that travel, access or share sensitive information while using public Wi- Fi, which is highest amongst the 14 countries surveyed
• Indians (36%) lead their global counterparts in willingly sharing personal information such as credit card number or log in name/password.
• 37% of Indians could not last a day on vacation without checking social media. This is second only to Japan (45%) when compared globally
Tips to Minimize Your Travel Security Risks:
• Create Social Walls: Waiting in airports can be quite boring and often this can lead to posting updates from 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.
• 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.