IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Connected Kiwi men struggle with work/life balance
Tue, 21st Jan 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Men across New Zealand and Australia have revealed the extent and impact of their connected lifestyles, highlighting the influence of social media on relationships and how the combination of mobility in the workplace and the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is making it harder to separate work and play.

The responses of 1,098 men across the region to an AVG Technologies AU/NZ snapshot survey shows that each evening, 66 percent of male respondents spend more than an hour connected to the Internet as they communicate with friends, work, browse and play games while 26 percent reported email as the main reason for using their mobile device and a further 23 percent nominated 'texting and calling friends’.

In their personal lives, 75 percent of respondents were in long term relationships with the survey revealing how our attitudes to privacy are being played out in our online lives.

Only 17 percent of men, compared to 25 percent of the women who responded to the survey, read their partner’s emails and text messages while twenty-three percent said partners had access to their messages. The men are 2.5 times more likely than their partners to have content on their phones they wouldn’t allow their children to see.

Social media is also playing a role in the dating game, as a third of the single men (35 percent) use Facebook and Twitter to find out more about their dates – a much higher proportion than the 20 percent of women who relied on the same source.

Sixty-five percent of those read the person’s ‘About’ section and other comments with 15 percent responding that they have cancelled dates because of something they found out about the person on social media.

“All sorts of strangers - from dates to prospective employers - view your social media accounts," says Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor, AVG Technologies.

"So it’s worth taking a moment to think carefully before you post and to regularly review your own profile and privacy settings.”

Most employed respondents (68 percent) use a mobile device, either theirs or company owned, in the workplace; 62 percent of those said that mobile devices make it harder to keep their home and work lives apart.

Of the men with work-allocated mobile devices, 72 percent report that these are pre-loaded with security software. And while 65 percent believe it’s the responsibility of their workplace to provide this protection, less than half of the respondents (46 percent) feel they receive adequate education about the safe use of smart phones and laptops in the business context.

“There is a mismatch between staff expectations and businesses’ actions in developing clear usage policies and protection standards for both company and personally owned mobile devices," says McKinnon.

“AVG’s local survey clearly shows the extent to which we now rely on our devices. With this deep online involvement, it is encouraging to see from the snapshot that 63 percent of the men stay up to date with developments in Internet security.

“Our message of ‘think before you click’ seems to be getting some traction. Of the 28 percent that use the same devices for work and personal use, more than a third (38 percent) reported they are being more cautious about what they download.

"But it is disappointing that, with 40 percent failing to use even the most simple protections such as passwords to lock their devices, they aren’t following through with consistent security regimes."

Does being connected make it harder to separate work and play?