Published On: Wed, Jun 7th, 2017

New McAfee Study Reveals Asia Pacific Consumers Prioritise Convenience Over Security While on Vacation

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Indonesia, June 7, 2017 – To help educate consumers as they prepare for their vacations, McAfee conducted a study, “Digital Detox: Unwind, Relax and Unplug,” to better understand the behavior and attitudes of consumers when on vacation, and how digital habits could be putting their personal information at risk. The study found that despite the benefits experienced from unplugging, most individuals prefer to stay connected. 60% of India respondents and 71% of Japan respondents indicated that they spend at least an hour a day using their connected devices to check email, text and post to social media while on vacation.

The holiday season can be a lot of fun for everyone, including cybercriminals who may try to exploit travelers who are in unfamiliar settings. When individuals put convenience over security, by using unsecured Wi-Fi access points that are easily hackable for example, they leave themselves open to the possibility of having their personal information compromised.

“Our devices are extensions of ourselves that we rely on for more tasks every day. Consumers in Asia Pacific remain unaware of the dangers of connecting to public Wi-Fi access points and tend to carry this habit when they travel due to the need to remain reachable for work and to share their travel experiences on social media,” said David Freer, Vice President, Consumer, Asia Pacific, McAfee. “Individuals must exercise caution when using their devices on vacation. By taking basic security precautions and avoiding unnecessary risks, consumers can better protect personal information making their vacation more enjoyable knowing they are connecting with confidence.”

The wide availability of Wi-Fi networks can make it difficult to unplug and disconnect on holiday but if consumers take that extra step and unplug they can experience a more secure trip. While many individuals did not intend to unplug while traveling, those that did reported a much more enjoyable experience.

Can’t Put the Device Down:

  • More than half of respondents in India (52%) and Japan (67%) could not last a day without checking their work or personal email. Majority admitted to checking emails at least once a day. In contrast, only 29% of respondents in Australia could not go a day without checking their work or personal email.
  • Respondents from India (51%) and Japan (56%) find it hard to resist checking social media while vacationing, while the figure is Australia came in to just below one third at 30%.
  • Respondents have no issues leaving their laptops behind for a vacation but not their smartphones.
  • The most common reason individuals avoid unplugging was to be reachable by family and friends.


Carefree Wi-Fi Usage

  • Almost half of participants primarily connected using publicly available Wi-Fi leaving them open to potential security risks.
  • Less than half of participants from Australia and Japan know how to determine whether a Wi-Fi connection is secure, with even less taking the time to check their connection.
  • Participants from Australia and Japan also do not consider the security of their Wi-Fi connection, and for a third shared that the stronger their need to remain connected, the less they would care about the security of the Wi-Fi connection
  • Alarmingly, travelers from APAC considered their personal information and data to be more secure while traveling than it is at home, as compared to travelers from the U.S.


Work, Work, Work:

  • A smaller percentage of participants claimed that they stayed connected to be reachable by work, but if work were not a factor more than half would prefer to stay unplugged.
  • More than half checked their work emails at least daily; 64% in Australia, 84% in India, 90% in Japan


Mom and Dad Know Best:

  • More than half of parents allow their children to use connected devices while traveling, and with most of these parents claim to monitor their child’s usage.


Tips to Help Secure Your Personal Information and Devices:


  • Browse securely when away from home. Ensure that you are connecting securely while traveling and avoid using public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. If you absolutely must connect to a public Wi-Fi network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connect. A VPN will keep your information private and ensure that data goes straight from your device to where you are connecting.
  • Update your devices. The first line of defense for your devices is you, so it’s important to take a few precautions to stay safe. Make sure your devices’ operating system and applications are kept updated. Using old versions of software could leave you open to potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Install cross-device security. After you’ve updated your devices with the latest software install comprehensive security. A solution like McAfee LiveSafe can help  your devices stay clear of viruses and other unwanted malware.
  • Use a device locating app. If you lose your connected device, especially on vacation, it can be difficult to recover. Location applications can help you find, lock and even erase your device’s data in the event of theft or loss.


Survey Methodology

In March 2017, McAfee commissioned MSI International to conduct an online study of 9,500 people who use a connected device daily in Australia, France, Germany, U.K, Japan, India and U.S. The survey included individuals between 18-55 split evenly by gender.


About McAfee

McAfee is one of the world’s leading independent cybersecurity companies. Inspired by the power of working together, McAfee creates business and consumer solutions that make the world a safer place.