Study suggests digital devices could be killing our memory

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According to a new study, we’re forgetting things at an alarming pace, with many of us not knowing phone numbers and relying on technology instead. Could this backfire?

Based on this information, security group Kaspersky Lab thinks that the answer to this is a big “yes”, especially if your information isn’t backed up.

Results released this week from a study commission by Kaspersky Lab suggest that their could be disastrous consequences for anyone that hasn’t undertaken this very necessary procedure, with 40 percent of the 1001 Australians surveyed using a smartphone as a way to replace their memory, while 87 percent used the internet this way.

This reliance on technology is fuelling what Kaspersky describes as a “digital amnesia” in that we’re leaning so hard on technology, there is a fear that without having this information backed up, it could be lost forever due to our inability to remember it. Worse, if an account password was lost or forgotten, it would be harder to salvage, while a phone, tablet, or computer can suffer even worse fates if hacked or hit with ransomware, encrypting the information until a paid ransom was handed over.

“If we’re entrusting our digital devices to do our remembering for us, it’s essential to take appropriate steps to ensure our data and treasured memories are safe,” said Andrew Mamonitis, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab in Australia and New Zealand.

“Any device that can access the internet – even mobile phones and tablets – is at risk, if not adequately secured.”

As you can imagine, security is the name of the game here, and while Mamonitis says that we shouldn’t have to memorise the information thanks to having the technology around to do this, without security, everything can unfortunately go belly up.

“We now have the means via technology to avoid having to memorise individual telephone numbers,” he said. “Without adequate security measures, we risk the situation where all information stored on a device may be lost, stolen or hacked.

“Without an adequate backup or security policy we may be at risk of losing this critical data permanently.”

With these fears out there, Mamonitis suggests that backing up on a regular basis has to be something that becomes a priority, while passwords need to be better than just your favourite food or your birthday.

Security is key for this area, and if you want your information locked up tight, you need to be aware of what’s out there and keep your online life and your devices at least on the same playing field.

And again, because this comes back to security, security software is a necessary thing, regardless of what company makes your phone, tablet, or computer.

Remember that security exploits exist for nearly every operating system, mobile included, so take care and stay on top of the game as best you can.