Is news of seemingly endless cyber-security breaches stressing you out? Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security firm, says a new survey of more than 2,000 North American consumers shows that a whopping 81 percent of Americans say they feel stressed by news of such breaches.
The report, “The state of cyber-stress,” says that with the increasing use of digital devices, the pervasive threat of losing personal data to a cyberattack is leading to chronic stress.
Choosing passwords and keeping track of login information for a growing number of online accounts can also be overwhelming, especially for younger generations, the report says. Nearly half (46 percent) of consumers 16 to 24 said they find it stressful to manage the number of passwords they have.
“Research has shown that it’s not the big, acute, one-time challenges that cause the majority of stress-related disease and disorders, but the everyday, nagging, accumulating pressure and tension we feel when we don’t have enough capacity to cope with the demands of life,” said Heidi Hanna, Ph.D, executive director of the American Institute of Stress.
“Especially when we feel unsafe, out of control, or unable to keep up with the pace of change, something inherent in our constantly-connected, digital lifestyle,” she added.
Fears of a personal cyber breach are not unfounded, the report says. The survey found that 46 percent of those responding experienced at least one cybersecurity issue in the last five years, while 14 percent had four or more.
In a finding that should concern online businesses, news of data breaches cause many people to be wary of sharing any more data.
While password managers might seem a logical choice, only 7 percent of those surveyed said they would trust password management software with their online account or app login details.
On the other hand, many of those surveyed do share their data with other people. Close to half, (49 percent) said they would share their usernames and passwords and answers to security questionswith their partner.