Cybersecurity woes not only keep professionals up at night, but, apparently, it worries a great deal of people in the U.S. and Canada, a new report found.
Along those lines, 75 percent of people in the U.S. and Canada are stressed by the number of passwords they have to manage. In addition, facing a cybersecurity incident is one of the most stressful situations modern consumers can face, according to a new report from Kaspersky Lab.
When presented with a variety of scenarios, 66 percent of people ranked having their bank account compromised as the most stressful – more than the number of people who selected losing their job, being in a minor car accident or missing a flight.
One year after its May 2018 study, Kaspersky Lab revisited the issue of cybersecurity-related stress, based on the results of a new survey of Internet users in the U.S. and Canada. The survey report, “Cyber-Stress, Refreshed,” examines how consumers’ stress levels have changed in the last year, whether these feelings influence their online behavior, and how technology knowledge affects cyber-stress.
This year’s research found in addition to worrying about passwords, 68 percent of consumers in North America are stressed by news of data breaches. Unfortunately, these cybersecurity incidents are becoming more commonplace, with 1,244 data breach incidents reported in 2018. In Kaspersky Lab’s survey, 34 percent of Americans and 23 percent of Canadians said within the last year, a company has informed them or they have noticed that their digital data was compromised in a breach.
Overall, these high levels of stress around data security do not appear to influence strong personal cybersecurity habits. For example, 30 percent of respondents said they use the same passwords for all or most of their online accounts, rising to 44 percent of those aged 16 to 24.
This research shows that a moderate level of cyber-stress can positively influence consumers to adopt strong personal cybersecurity habits. People with well-managed cyber-stress are more likely to take proactive steps to protect their devices and data, such as using strong passwords and leveraging security solutions on all their devices.
“People still tend to assume that stress is bad for us, when it is actually intended to help us fuel positive change,” said Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., executive director of the American Institute of Stress. “This study reinforces that fact by demonstrating what happens when we have just enough stress or focused attention on something that matters to us, but not so much that we feel overwhelmed or out of control. Stress is good at showing us what we care about – if we didn’t care, we wouldn’t feel stressed. As long as we use the energy and information that stress provides to take positive action, like educating and empowering ourselves, stress is our friend instead of our enemy.”
Click here for more information on the report.