96% of people use technology to unwind, forgetting about possible cybersecurity risks

People mostly relax by watching TV, listening to music, and streaming TV shows or other videos online

Cybersecurity experts are alarmed because most people use their devices as a relaxation tool. In fact, the latest survey performed by Cint and commissioned by cybersecurity company NordVPN showed that 96%  of people turn to technology for relaxation during the day.

While watching Netflix or scrolling Instagram can help alleviate stress, it may also eliminate users’ privacy awareness.

Sixty percent of respondents said they turn to their gadgets a few times a day to relax, and 21% said they do so at least once a day.

TVs and smartphones are the two top gadgets that people use to relax

In most countries, TV remains the #1 device for relaxation and easy entertainment (70%).

“In the past, very few cybersecurity issues were associated with the use of television. However, now many people use smart TVs. In 2019, the FBI released a warning stating that smart TVs can make users vulnerable to surveillance and attacks by bad actors. Since then, user security technology has become more advanced, but internet-connected devices remain vulnerable,” says Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

Warmenhoven is also worried because smartphones are the second most used item for relaxation (69% globally).

“When people are relaxed, they often forget about possible cybersecurity risks. Smartphones are especially at risk because today, no other gadget knows more about its user. That makes smartphones a very appealing target for hackers,” says Warmenhoven.

How do people relax using their gadgets?

Two-thirds of respondents choose to unwind by watching TV, and a similar number of people choose to do so by listening to music. More than half of respondents also relax by streaming TV shows or movies or watching videos (e.g., on YouTube or TikTok).

The fourth most popular way of relaxing was scrolling through social media, and 45.7% of respondents admitted to doing so. More than a third also said they feel more relaxed after talking to their loved ones online, gaming, or reading or listening to the news.

How to safely relax  using tech

Cybersecurity expert Adrianus Warmenhoven shares some tips that will help eliminate the stress of being hacked for those who use technology to unwind:

  • Keep apps and the phone’s operating system (OS) up to date. Don’t skip software updates.
  • Use cybersecurity tools. Every device you use should have at least an antivirus, a VPN, and a password manager installed if that is possible. That will drastically lower the risk of being hacked.
  • Do your research. Never download unknown apps — read up on them and make sure they have been developed by a legitimate company.
  • Avoid unofficial app stores. They’re more likely to contain malware-ridden apps.
  • Avoid using unknown Wi-Fi. And always use a VPN when you do.
  • Be vigilant. Don’t click on suspicious links, don’t give out your number to strangers, and be wary of unknown numbers.


NordVPN commissioned the survey, and Cint carried it out in most countries — only respondents from Sweden were questioned by Norstat. Quotas were placed on age, gender, and place of residence to achieve a nationally representative sample among internet users. In most countries, the survey took place between May 15 and May 26, 2023. In Malaysia, the survey was conducted between April 4 and April 19, 2023. The number of respondents per country was 1,000, with the exception of Spain (800) and Switzerland (900). Respondents from all countries were all 18 years and older. The only country with a set age limit was Malaysia, where only people aged 18-64 were surveyed.


NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by millions of internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption and Onion Over VPN and guarantees privacy with zero tracking. One of the key features of the product is Threat Protection, which blocks malicious websites, malware during downloads, trackers, and ads. NordVPN is very user friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, and has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide. For more information: nordvpn.com.


In which ways do you unwind or relax using devices?
Watching TV65.9%
Listening to music62.9%
Streaming TV shows, movies or watching videos (e,g, on YouTube, TikTok)52.4%
Scrolling through social media45.7%
Text messaging (via apps, SMS) or talking to friends/family through voice or video calls39.1%
Reading or listening to the news38.8%
Online shopping32.9%
Walking or working out using physical health apps  (such as Pulsebit, MyFitnessPal, or Google Fit)20.8%
Reading e-books18.1%
Using mental health apps (such as Fabulous, Breeze, Calm, or Headspace)6.8%
Using the metaverse3.6%

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