New Kaspersky Lab research discovers users’ dependence on digital devices

Kaspersky Lab released Thursday findings of a new survey, in which nearly a quarter of consumers (23 percent) responded that they would prefer to be caught naked in public than be without their digital device. The survey report, “Online or Lost: Our Constant Connection Dependency,” examines the close connection that people have with technology, and the lengths they will go to keep devices by their side at all times.

Many people can hardly remember what life was like before they were constantly connected. For nearly half of consumers (43 percent), checking their device is the first thing they do in the morning, and 69 percent always have their smartphone with them when leaving the house, even for a short amount of time. Additionally, one-in-five survey respondents (19 percent) said that they feel naked without their connected device.

Consumers are now relying on devices for more than just work or connecting with friends and family – technology can now serve as a “safety blanket” in the physical world.

According to Kaspersky Lab’s survey, 75 percent of people have used their device to pretend to be busy when they did not want to talk to someone. Additionally, nearly a third of respondents (31 percent) prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi, ordering food or finding directions through websites and apps because they find it easier than talking to other people.

However, this reliance on devices means that not having access to the internet can cause discomfort and stress. The vast majority of people (90 percent) said they would feel stressed if their device was lost or stolen. This is higher than the percentage of people that said they would be stressed by missing a train or airplane, being involved in a minor car accident or getting sick. Furthermore, one third of people (34 percent) said they worry that they will have no way of entertaining themselves if they cannot use their device.

The survey also revealed that losing a device is one of the most stressful experiences a user can go through with 90 percent of respondents admitting they would feel stressed if their device was lost or stolen. By comparison, 88 percent would feel a level of stress by missing a train/plane, or being involved in a minor car accident (88 percent), while 80 percent would feel stressed by getting sick (80 percent).

However, despite its importance, too many people are taking connectivity for granted. For example, 18 percent of people do nothing to keep their devices working and connected, only 34 percent control battery levels and only 22 percent regularly check their device’s health.

It’s therefore no surprise that 9-in-10 respondents have faced a problem with their device – e.g. the battery ran out without the ability to recharge it (76 percent), the device stopped working because of a technical reason (40 percent), or the device was left somewhere (37 percent). As a result, people have faced risks to their professional and personal lives

Whether ordering food, conducting business or staying in touch with friends, the digital world has become deeply ingrained in consumers’ daily lives. Staying connected is now a life essential, and getting through a day without internet access seems unimaginable for many. In fact, in Kaspersky Lab’s survey, 22 percent of respondents stated that being connected is as important to them as having easy access to food, water and shelter.

“Connectivity has quickly become a staple of modern life and for many, an absolute necessity,” said Dmitry Aleshin, vice president for product marketing, Kaspersky Lab. “Our desire to be online at all times, and the things we are prepared to do to maintain that digital connection, highlights how important connected devices are to us. However, with connectivity extending into all aspects of our lives, security can’t be overlooked. Users need to ensure that, no matter the situation, their connection remains both stable and secure.”

In light of consumers’ increasing reliance on maintaining a connection, properly looking after devices and their security is now more important than ever. Installing security solutions across all devices can help people live their digital lives without the risk of losing their connectivity when it is needed most.

 


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