University of Phoenix College of Information Systems & Technology commissioned a 2017 survey on electronic devices and cyber safety, surveying 1,991 registered voters to better understand what precautions, if any, they take while on vacation.

Smartphones are a must-have necessity for many summer travelers, yet most do little to keep their devices secure while away from home. The majority of respondents reported checking their devices at least once every hour while on vacation, but few take precautions to safeguard their data while traveling.

Vacations are often a time when Americans let their guards down, which can leave many people vulnerable to hackers who want to steal personal information. Whether vacationers are in another country or down the street, it is important to take precautionary measures when traveling.

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Less than half of those surveyed say they worry about cybersecurity threats while on vacation, and the majority say the need to use personal devices outweighs any potential risk.

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Almost half of registered voters report checking their devices at least once an hour on vacation.

Survey respondents cited stolen bank information as their top concern while traveling. Other major concerns include losing devices and contracting viruses on devices.

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The majority of travelers believe their devices are just as safe on vacation as they are at home.

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Despite the frequency with which they use their devices, very few take measures to prevent hackers from potentially accessing personal information: 54 percent lock devices when not in use, but less than half take other precautions, such as physically hiding or locking up their devices when away from them.

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Additional Findings

  • More than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) feel more secure using their phone’s hotspot versus public Wi-Fi.
  • More than half of respondents check email or social media while on vacation.
  • Two in five respondents (41 percent) post photos from trips on social media accounts while away from home

Methodology:

This poll was conducted May 25-30, 2017, among a national sample of 1,991 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Cooper Nelson.