Something needs to change in the next generation's relationship with cybersecurity

October is the Cyber ​​Security Awareness Month and brings with it articles and discussions about phishing, passwords, privacy and the like.

Essentially the target of this initiative is to remind us to be cautious and understand the dangers lurking on the internet.


It's an incredibly important goal. "But I suspect that some of you, like me, may be tired of getting the same messages every year," jokes Tony Anscombe, an expert at global digital security firm ESET.

In fact, if we look back 10 years, we will notice that the messages of the Cyber ​​Security Month campaign for example in, an initiative of the US government and industry, are almost identical to the 2022 campaign messages – use strong passwords, check links before clicking…

All of these remain to this day great messages and wise advice (and I'm sure they work), but it is clear that the issue is not resolved and therefore I cannot but ask the question, says Anscombe: should we seek to put the message not in theory but in a 'place' that makes it an automatic human response?

Hidden risks are often difficult to appreciate without some form of visualization

Let's take for example, road safety: if there was no visualization – cars passing in front of us when we want to cross the road or wreckage of cars left on the side of the road after an accident – ​​then it would be difficult to teach a pedestrian or a driver about road safety.

Even when the danger is visible, a shock tactic is often required to reinforce the message and ensure it is understood and heard.

One such example, staying on the topic of road safety, is the internationally recognized campaign THINK! of the United Kingdom. The campaign THINK! (Think!) had remarkable results in reducing drink driving incidents, young driver safety and the like. How; By using shocking depictions of the consequences - for example, the photo of a driver being thrown through a windscreen for not wearing a seat belt.

Cyber ​​Security Month messages are not visible and that's where the problem starts

The kind of online events that Cyber ​​Security Month usually focuses on are not visible by nature. However, the consequences of an incident can be devastating, especially on a personal level and there is likely to be a constant issue: the deterioration of the victim's mental health.

Whether it's trolling, cyberbullying, fraud, identity theft, credential theft, or one of the many other variations of cyber threats, there are likely to be consequences – mental health consequences that go unnoticed.

For example, many victims romantic scam they are ashamed to admit that they have been deceived. However, in reality, talking with friends and family could be valuable on the road to coping and recovery.

A similar feeling can apply when someone clicks on a phishing link and gives their login credentials or personal information – there is likely to be a feeling of "but how stupid I was!"

Safety as a mindset, like road safety, comes after we internalize the consequences and understand the risks from a very young age. 

Imagine the scenario where no one will ever click on a link in an email without carefully checking the address first, or the scenario where we will find it unthinkable to use a simple password and always look for stronger authentication.

To achieve such a level of instinctive protection, the habit should be taught and constantly reinforced from an early age – in the same way that a parent and a wider circle of people teach a child how to cross the street.

Generation X saw technology mature

The technological revolution my generation faced, says ESET expert, Generation X, changed almost every aspect of their lives. We have seen the introduction of technology that has really changed the way we communicate, behave, work, etc. Importantly, we have seen the technology mature with the addition of safety and security mechanisms and the evolution of cyber security – and unfortunately, the evolution of cyber threats as well.

As a generation, we could never be taught certain elements of cyber security by definition, as there was no such thing. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't train the next generation to develop basic default instincts and skills.

Let's take her issue for example number one cyber threat, which is phishing, with statistics supporting that the 90% of cyber incidents they start with a phishing attack.

"As someone who talks about cybersecurity in many businesses, I can confirm with great confidence that this is the number one concern for businesses when it comes to cybersecurity," says ESET's Anscombe.

"Well, if we want to to solve this problem, then we should have a generation instilled with a default mechanism which will prevent them from just clicking to a link or to hand over their credentials. A reaction in which they immediately identify the danger, have a visualization of it and take a safe approach.

To achieve this dream, where the Phishing it will no longer exist and no one will ever need to be deceived, it will require a huge change in the use of technology at a young age, as well as in how we guide children and what they are taught as key foundational skills.” The Best Technology Site in Greece
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Written by newsbot

Although the press releases will be from very select to rarely, I said to go ... because sometimes the authors are hiding.

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