Imagine you are stranded at the airport on your way to an important customer meeting. You urgently need to get a message to the office or the customer but have lost access to the data on your phone. What do you do? If the answer is “nothing” because you can’t recall the numbers, you are not alone. You have probably got digital amnesia. Chances are that most of your colleagues will have it too, according to research from Kaspersky Lab.
Earlier this year Kasperksy conducted a major international study that explored the influence of digital devices and technologies on people’s ability to remember. Among a number of worrying findings, it discovered that more than half (57%) of the UK’s working adults surveyed would be unable to phone their place of work – let alone contact the customer – if they lost access to their connected device or the data stored on it.
In other words, they couldn’t let anyone know where they were, what had happened, or what needed to be done, such as rescheduling the meeting.
The company has coined this phenomenon “digital amnesia,” the experience of forgetting information you trust a digital device to remember for you. The research revealed that when unexpectedly device or data-less, many people would find it impossible to call the people and places most important to them, including the office, their children (71%), partners (49.2%), or even their parents (36 %).
The impact on businesses can range from mere inconvenience to something far more serious – such as damage to corporate reputation and productivity.
It is unreasonable to expect employees to do this themselves; the study found that just one in three (35%) installs extra IT security, such as an anti-malware software solution on their smartphone and only a quarter (23%) adds any to their tablet in their personal lives, let alone their business life. One in five (21%) don’t protect any of their devices with additional security.