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McAfee study points to dangers of public Wifi while on holiday

Digital Detox – Unwind, Relax and Unplug
Before consumers head out to enjoy their holidays,  they need  to understand the risks and threats associated with using internet-connected when travelling and how to avoid them.
Bangalore, July 20 2017: According to a recent McAfee study, Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug, only 43% of survey respondents went on vacation in the last year with the intent to unplug. Of those individuals, being in the moment (69%) and stress relief (65%) were the most common reasons for planning to unplug. When we looked at individuals who intended to unplug, 81% reported they were successful and their vacation was more enjoyable because of it. Based on a year-over-year comparison from 2016, only 45% reported that they were successful at unplugging. When examining the 57% of those who did not unplug, the most common reason for staying connected was to be reachable by friends and family (62%). Others stayed connected to navigate (39%) unfamiliar surroundings and to post to social media in real-time (28%).The need to connect led 72% of individuals to use their hotel room’s internet to connect and 31% to use publicly available Wi-Fi. This prioritization of convenience over security could leave consumers’ personal information susceptible to theft by a cybercriminal.
 Can’t Put the D evice Down : More than half of respondents (52%) indicated that they spend at least an hour a day on vacation using their connected devices.Thirty-eight percent could not last a day without checking either work or personal email.Thirty-seven percent could not last a day without checking social media.More than half (54%) could not last a day without textinTwenty-seven percent of individuals check their email consistently throughout the day. While only 16% claimed they stayed connected in order to be reachable by work, 57% of individuals claim they would prefer to be totally unplugged on vacation if work were not a factor.This is most true for younger generations, particularly those survey respondents in their 20s and 30s, with 69% claiming they would want to completely unplug vs. less than half (49%) of individuals in their 40s.
Mom and Dad Know Best: Most parents like to think that devices should take a back seat on vacation, with 51% planning to unplug compared with 35% of people who do not have children. While parents are more likely to go on vacation with the intention to unplug, they were only slightly more successful at abstaining from device usage than individuals without children who also went on vacation with the intent to unplug (82% vs. 78%).Seventy-seven percent of parents allow their children to use connected devices while traveling, and 73% of these parents monitor their child’s device usage.It appears that parents are more vigilant with what their children do with connected devices while on vacation.
According to a recent McAfee survey, New Family Dynamics in  a Connected World, 76% of parents allow their children to take a connected device to bed at home, but only 35% of parents admitted to monitoring their child’s device usage by keeping the device in their possession and giving it to them only when they were around. Only 23% use software to monitor activity.
Parents tend to be more tech savvy than their non-parental counterparts and are more likely to know if their Wi-Fi connection is secured and safe to use (63% of parents vs. 54% of non- parents).
Recognizing the Risks of Wi-Fi, Securing Data and VPN Usage Habits
Fifty-eight percent of respondents know how to check if a Wi-Fi network is secured and safe to use; despite this knowledge less than half (49%) take the time to ensure their connection is secured. Fifty percent of women know how to determine if their Wi-Fi network is secured. People in their 20s and 30s are more likely to know how to check the security of the Wi-Fi network they are connecting to. Sixty-four percent of people in their 20s, and 65% of people in their 30s know how to check. Men in their 20s and 30s are even more likely to know how to check with 74% of men in their 20s and 71% of men in their 30s.Twenty percent of all respondents don't think about the security of their Wi-Fi network at all, and for 32% it depends on how badly they need to connect to Wi-Fi if they check the security of the network. While traveling only 17% of individuals used a personal VPN when connecting (only 5% reported using a work VPN).Fifty percent of respondents did not use a VPN and 17% don’t know what a VPN is. Almost a quarter of women (24%) reported that they do not know what a VPN is compared with 11% of men.VPN usage was highest among men with 22% reporting that they used a personal VPN on vacation. The most common reason for using a VPN was top secure the connection to sensitive data (71%).Fifteen percent of respondents think that their data is more secure when connecting to the internet on vacation than it is at home or work. Men are more likely to think that their data is more secure (22%) compared with only 9% of women.
Leave the Laptop at Home and Unplug
Laptops are the devices that individuals are most comfortable leaving at home while on vacation (72%), with tablets following closely behind (60%).Forty-six percent are willing to go on vacation without a wearable device. o  Only 27% of respondents are willing to leave their smartphone at home. o Nine percent are not comfortable leaving any devices behind.
Older individuals were the most reluctant to leave any device behind. Twelve percent of individuals 51-55 are not comfortable leaving any device at home. Thirteen percent between the ages of 41-50 don’t want to leave any device behind. Only 6% of respondents between 18 and 30 are uncomfortable leaving devices at home. Respondents in their 20s and 30s were much more likely to go on vacation with the intent to unplug (21-30, 51%) (31-40, 52%) vs. people in their 40s (41-50, 35%) and people over 50 (29%).  When comparing individuals in their 20s and 30s, 62% of men planned to unplug while only 40% of women had the same plans. Overall, women of all age ranges were less likely to go on vacation with the intent to unplug (35%) versus 51% of men. Despite their willingness to unplug, 52% of individuals in their 20s reported they experienced anxiety because of unplugging compared to 37% of people in their 40s.
Methodology: McAfee commissioned MSI International to conduct an online global survey to understand consumer behavior when travelling and to help educate them on potential security risks. The study was conducted in March 2017 and included 2,003 people in the United States, ages 18-55, evenly split by gender. All respondents use a connected device (such as smart phone, tablet, smart watch, etc.) at least once daily.

 

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