Malaysians Suffer from ‘Digital Amnesia’

Aug 14, 2015:

When we were young, we used to memorize our home phone number as well as our loved ones’ numbers. Alternatively, we would carry a personal diary containing contact numbers or contact cards. However, it is a different scenario today. Today, most of us would find it hard to recall any contact number from our contacts list. Why? Because we rely too much on technology.

As part of Kaspersky Lab’s commitment to help people protect sensitive and important data in an online-enabled world, it has conducted a survey of 1,001 Malaysians aimed at better understanding how digital devices and the Internet affect the way consumers recall and use information; as well as their precautionary measures to protect it. Similar surveys were also conducted in other countries.

The survey revealed that Malaysians have better memory when it comes to recalling the current phone numbers of their family and friends. Thirty five percent (35%) and fifty percent (50%) 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.

Participating countries faired almost equally on dependency on the Internet and devices as a tool for remembering and as an extension of their brain. Ninety one percent of Americans and 89.3% of Malaysians depend on the Internet and devices followed by Europeans at 79.5%.

Malaysia’s respondents (72.6%) also stated that the Internet is more convenient to reference information compared to libraries or books. Similarly, 61% of Europeans admitted that the Internet is a universal reference book.

Smartphones are a necessity for many of us, as they have become an extension of the human brain. In Malaysia, an astonishing 8.5 million[1] smartphones were bought by consumers between January to December 2014.

However, just how many Malaysian protect their phones with IT security? According to the survey, only 48.4% of Malaysians installed some form of IT security product to protect the vital 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% of Americans, 43.8% of Malaysians and 40% of European respondents it could cause immense distress. However, 23.8% of Malaysian respondents will keep calm in this scenario as they claim to have memorized the vital information on their mobile devices and keep hard copies of pictures.

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.