After all the security breaches and password leaks in the news recently, one response, according to a new study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology or NIST, is not to deal with it at all.
Take this scenario: Enter your password. Nope, doesn’t match. Actually, create a new password. No. Make it stronger. Ugh.
This happened to Arthur Asa Berger just yesterday morning.
“I said the hell with it, and I just didn’t want to bother with it,” he said. “That happens frequently.”
And he’s an expert. He wrote a book about digital culture. If Berger went in to lie on the virtual couch, he’d probably get a diagnosis: security fatigue. “Yes, it is a thing,” said Mary Theofanos, a computer scientist with NIST, whose team did the study.
This video explains it quite dramatically.
Theofanos said in talking to folks about online activity and perceptions about cybersecurity, people brought up one thing again and again.
“We just kept seeing this overwhelming weariness and loss of control and their resignation,” she said.
So when it comes time to act — to update software or order that bathrobe online — people just don’t. Including those at work.
“So you’re losing productivity from the employee as well,” Theofanos said.
Not to mention more abandoned online transactions.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.