In a digital world it can be hard to step back, unwind, and get some digital downtime. Living in a digital world, only 22% of people believe that they spend too much time on their digital devices – so what’s “too much” and which habits do we have?
We all use our digital devices on a daily basis, and with 88% of Australians owning a smartphone, being online all the time is a reality. In fact, 30% of those surveyed would label themselves as “addicted” to their smartphone or tablet!
We had a look at how Aussies use their devices in EY Sweeney’s report Digital Australia: State of the Nation to see how Australia shapes up as a digital nation and the habits we might not know we have.
1. You check your digital devices first and last thing
If you find yourself checking in on the social world, or making sure you don’t have any new emails before going to bed, only to wake up and see what you missed while you grabbed some shut eye – this one’s for you!
According to the Digital Australia: State of the Nation report you’re not alone. In fact, 60% of Aussies check their smartphone or tablet before they go to bed and 64% check their smartphone or tablet when they wake up in the morning.
If you also find yourself not sleeping well, this may be why. A quarter of those surveyed believe that their smartphones and tablets have a negative effect on their sleep and they’re probably right. Research suggests that staring at the light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, telling your body to stay alert and making it harder to fall asleep.
2. Charging your phone overnight
While we’re talking about sleep, let’s discuss how we recharge our devices while we too recharge. Why, you ask? There’s no wrong way! Well, I thought so too but apparently there is. Many of us are probably used to chucking our smartphones on charge overnight. We plug our phone in, set our alarms and then grab some shut-eye. Tech experts have revealed this can damage your phone as batteries depreciate from the minute we get them and by charging them overnight we’re increasing the time our phones are connected to a power supply, decreasing its long-term battery capacity.
3. One digital device isn’t enough
If you fidget (or as I like to say, are great at multitasking) you may find yourself watching a movie while looking up things on your laptop or keeping up to date with the latest news on your phone. You’re not alone; 60% of Aussie’s say they keep their hands busy by using smartphones or tablets while watching TV.
4. Can’t put the phone down
With everything moving to digital it can be hard to put the phone down and walk away. I know I often find myself “Googling it” when you need an answer right here and now. Smartphones make getting answers easy. In fact, 35% of Aussies will even research a product online whilst in the store.
Technology is great but if you find yourself glued to your phone and wanting a break, try switching it off. It’s more common than you think with 44% of people saying they regularly “switch off” for some much-needed downtime. So next time you need to get away, hit the switch and take a rest.
5. Jumping online at work
It can be tempting to log in to personal accounts during the day at work instead of waiting until break times or the end of the day. 15% of Aussies check their social media account 3 or 4 times a day and 18% check 5 or more times a day during a normal work day. That might not seem too bad but when you add to it that 33% of people complete personal tasks such as internet banking more than 1 or 2 times a day at work and 45% email from personal account more than 1 or 2 times a day, the time adds up!
You may have heard of people uploading photos of winning tickets to social media and having their winnings stolen, or have seen someone upload pictures of mail with all their personal details on it. It’s important to keep your info safe as sharing all your information on social media can make it easier for the bad guys to use your information for their own gain.
Regular updates on your social accounts and new tracking features in apps such as Snapchat’s Snap Map mean that people you are connected with can see where you are and what you’re doing throughout the day. This also lets them know when you’re not home. Only 41% of people review their social media settings to restrict the personal info that is available. Make sure you keep your details safe by checking your privacy settings and avoid sharing too much info, especially with sites you don’t trust. Keep an eye out for permission requests you receive from apps and websites as hackers can use these platforms to access your other accounts.
7. Security measures
The most common form of security on a device is adding an access code or another barrier to entry. Only 48% of people password protect mobile and 20% use thumbprint or fingerprint identity as a security measure on their device. This is the simplest way to add another layer of security to your devices to keep your content safe but did you know that 5% of people do nothing at all to ensure they keep their devices and information safe? That’s one 5% you don’t want to be in.
8. Using the same passwords for every account
Worried you won’t remember all your passwords? When it was just words, it was easier to keep, but now with many requiring a mix of lower and upper case letter, numbers, and a minimum character count, it can be a struggle to remember them all! However, there’s a good reason for these requirements – it keeps the hackers out and your info safe. Should a hacker be able to get in, it’s important that all your accounts have different passwords so they can’t access any other personal accounts.
To see how your password scores on the security scale, take a look at the site passwordmeter.com. If you need a hand remembering all your passwords, sites such as LastPass can help you keep your accounts safe – all you have to remember is the master password.
Do you have a tip for keeping good digital habits? Share it with us in the comments!