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This Is Uncomfortable

Overwhelmed by passwords? You may have security fatigue

Molly Wood Oct 7, 2016
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How are some of you reacting to the news of all these data breaches? With weary resignation.
Visual Hunt

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.

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