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‘Digital Amnesia’: Britons risk memory loss relying on smart devices alone

Wed 1 Jul 2015

The digital revolution is hampering Britain’s memory with people unable to recall the most important contact numbers without retrieving them from their smart devices, Kaspersky Labs has found.

A survey conducted by the security researcher discovered that 71% of parents were unable to remember their children’s numbers without checking their own phones. It was also revealed that 57% of participants could not recall their work phone numbers, and 49% could not remember their partner’s number.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky said that “Connected devices enrich our lives but they have also given rise to Digital Amnesia.”

He continued: “We need to understand the long term implications of this for how we remember and how we protect those memories. Further, an overwhelming 86% of those surveyed say that in our increasingly hyper-connected world people simply have too many numbers, addresses, handles etc. for them to remember even if they wanted to. We discovered that the loss or compromise of this precious information would not just be an inconvenience, it would leave many people deeply distressed.”

The research was based on a pool of 6,000 consumers aged 16 and over across six European countries.

The majority of consumers aged between 16 and 24 admitted that they no longer tried to remember contact information that could be stored on their smart devices.

‘Digital Amnesia’ as named by Kaspersky, was found to affect both men and women equally across all age ranges.

Almost 40% of those surveyed between the ages of 16 and 24 said that they would be ‘devastated’ should they lose data stored on their smartphones, while 44% of women claimed the same sentiment.

25% of female consumers and 38% of the younger age group responded that they would panic if they were affected by a data breach or loss as their smart devices were the only places that they stored all of their contact information.

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