Email, Geo-Tagging and Social Media Activities Can Jeopardize Consumers' Security While Travelling
- Intel Security conducted a study to better understand consumers' digital behaviour while travelling
- The survey revealed that 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
- Most vacationers will remain connected while travelling, and roughly 55 per cent of respondents who planned to disconnect were unable to completely do so
MARKHAM, ON, June 21, 2016 /CNW/ - In preparation for summer travel season, Intel Security conducted a study, "Digital Detox: Unplugging on Summer Vacation," to better understand the ways consumers stay digitally connected while travelling and the ways they may unknowingly be putting their personal identity and devices at risk. 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 survey challenges a misconception in society that younger Canadians would be the least likely to leave their devices behind on vacation— 51 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.
Summer vacation is full of distraction and opportunity, and savvy criminals have learned how to capitalize on these moments. Travellers 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.
"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 travelling."
Consumers need to be vigilant and take precautionary security measures to prevent their personal information from being lost or stolen while on the road. Despite many respondents' inability to unplug, those who were able to do so reaped major benefits.
- 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).
Tips to Minimize Your Travel Security Risks:
- 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.
Find more information:
- Blog post from Gary Davis: http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/unplugging-survey-2016
- Join the conversation on social media with #unplugging
- Visit the Intel Security Facebook page at facebook.com/intelsecurity and McAfee Security Advice Center for information on the latest consumer threats and online safety tips.
In March 2016, Intel Security commissioned MSI International to conduct an online global study among 13,960 consumers (including 816 Canadians) between the ages of 21 to 54, evenly split by gender.
About Intel Security
Intel Security, with its McAfee product line, is dedicated to making the digital world safer and more secure for everyone. Intel Security is a division of Intel Corporation. Learn more at www.intelsecurity.com.
Intel Security in Canada maintains a website called "The State of Consumer and Enterprise Security in Canada" (http://mcaf.ee/canadastats) in order to provide a one-stop shop for writers looking for information on a variety of trends and issues affecting and shaping the Canadian security landscape. Feel free to check out the Intel Security resource site for security information, statistics, story ideas, and access to published Intel Security surveys and studies.
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Image with caption: "Canadians are the most successful at abstaining from social media use while on vacation. (CNW Group/Intel Security)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160621_C6962_PHOTO_EN_717944.jpg