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Why you should go internet free on your next vacation

Vacations are meant for switching off from the internet and the rest of the world to relax, but not for Indians!

twitter-logo Diksha Ramesh   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 1, 2016  | 11:15 IST
Why you should go internet free on your next vacation
[Photo: Reuters]

Vacations are meant for switching off from the internet and the rest of the world to relax, but not for Indians!

Even though three out of four Indians say they would want to be unplugged for a week-long vacation, obligations tend to come in the way.

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And even if they do, a large number of Indians are still connected to the internet while vacationing.

A study by Intel Securities 'Digital Detox: Unplugging on Vacation' among 14 countries revealed that staying connected with family and being available in case of an emergency is the reason that keeps Indians from being unplugged during a vacation.

"Findings from the survey indicate that a huge majority of Indians (84%) connect to the internet while on vacation," says Venkat Krishnapur, Head of R&D Operations for Intel Security's India Development Centre.

The study revealed that 54 per cent weren't willing to leave their smartphone at home while on vacation. It also found out that India came second worst globally at being able to hold back from social media while away from home.

Need to be vigilant

These numbers turn dangerous when tech savvy criminals come in the way.

"While [staying digitally connected] doing so, they [consumers] often access and share sensitive information without considering the potential cyber risks of divulging credit cards details, works mails and personal information on unsecured public Wi-Fi," said Venkat.

Travellers can be targets for cybercriminals who count on vulnerabilities like this. They can gain access to sensitive information via unsecured smartphones, laptops and even wearables, while also collecting data from social channels.

The study showed that 37 per cent of Indians that travel access or share sensitive information while using public Wi- Fi.

Further, Indians lead globally in willingly sharing personal information such as credit card number or log in name and password.

More than 36 per cent of Indians shared their personal data even when they realize that this will make them vulnerable, which is highest amongst the 14 countries surveyed.

"Through this survey, we wanted to raise awareness about the need to adopt safe digital habits and share security measures to prevent personal information from being compromised while travelling," Venkat added.

So next time you think of using the Hotel WiFi, think again.

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