March 25, 2016

Kaspersky Lab study reveals risk of digital dependency at work

Global Digital Amnesia study shows challenge with employees multi-tasking and listening

Global Digital Amnesia study shows challenge with employees multi-tasking and listening

Woburn, MA – March 30, 2016 - A new study commissioned by Kaspersky Lab shows that employees overestimate their ability to multi-task . While they think they can type and listen properly at the same time, their brain says they can’t. So Digital Amnesia , the experience of forgetting information you entrust to a digital device, has significant impact in the workplace as it could mean that potentially insecure devices hold the only record of a conversation.

The studyi,which explored the presence and impact of Digital Amnesia in the work environment, found that 44 percent of business people admit that typing notes into a digital device means they miss valuable contextual, emotional or behavioral clues that are vital for accurate understanding, and 13 percent confess to losing a digital record and finding themselves unable to remember a word of what was said.

The research also discovered that many business professionals are willing to sacrifice active listening for the ease of typing a quick, real-time record of a meeting or presentation. Nearly half (46%) are adamant that the factual accuracy of typed and stored notes is more important than the nuance of conversation, and two-thirds (67%) add that digital notes can be backed-up and shared, which is better than relying on the personal memory of a conversation.

Dr Gorkan Ahmetoglu, Lecturer of Business Psychology at University College London, commented on the research: “Human memory is limited. The disadvantage with simply listening, and relying on memory, is that transferring something from short term ‘working memory’ to long-term memory is difficult and success depends on how well we understand the topic being discussed. If the information is unfamiliar or we don’t quite grasp it, noting as much as possible down on a digital device means it can be used to review and build our understanding later.”

However, if the listener has a good working knowledge of the topic, the benefits of Digital Amnesia may be less significant.

Ahmetoglu explains: “If one is very familiar with what is being said, then being present “in mind” may be a more effective way to absorb the full bucket of information presented than by noting it on a device – letting our working memory connect the dots in real-time.”

“There may be increasing tolerance in the workplace for people having to check their devices for details, but leaving important business information entirely in the memory of a digital device puts that information at great risk of loss, theft or cyber-attack; possibly losing the record forever,” said Michael Canavan, vice president, Kaspersky Lab North America. “Digital Amnesia in the workplace reminds us that devices and people work best when they work in partnership, one capturing the facts, the other the feelings that give them meaning. Protecting all devices that are used to support memories and enhance work performance should be a priority for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors,” he added.

Copies of Digital Amnesia at Work – the risks and rewards of forgetting in business, are available from

Digital Amnesia in the Workplace

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

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i The research was undertaken by Arlington Research, targeting business professionals in IT/technology, business leadership, sales/marketing and HR/finance roles in the following countries: France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Russia, the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The fieldwork was conducted online in late December 2015/early January 2016

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