Why Every Hacker Wants You to Believe “It Can’t Happen to You”

Why Every Hacker Wants You to Believe “It Can’t Happen to You”

Why do so many individual computer users secretly believe that “It [a successful attack by a hacker] can’t happen to me?”

People who pay attention to the news know that the Internet is like the wild, wild West. Hardly a day goes by without hearing about the latest data breach horror story. Then why do many of us knowingly fail to follow security best practices in the face of reality?

Why would so many people fail to take even the most basic steps against cybercrime?

That got me to thinking. What do psycho-therapists and psychologists have to say?

One psychologist, Dr. Michael J. Hurd of Delaware suggest that people are seeking a sense of comfort and want to believe that they live in a world where everything is fine. Apparently, people feel a sense of power, security and control if they believe they aren’t at risk. That belief, apparently creates what to Dr. Hurd describes as a huge gap between an objective reality and the perception that using computers poses a significant risk and requires that you use caution. Dr. Hurd describes it as a defense mechanism.

Makes sense to me – how about you?

Certain behavior (e.g. using weak passwords, clicking on unverified links) simply doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would you want to avoid using strong passwords and periodically changing them to make it more difficult for a cyber criminal to get into your confidential information?

You can strengthen your security and keep your information system from being harmed by taking some basic precautions with your computer, communications and confidential information. Follow the best practices associated with cyber security. You make it easier for the hacker when you don’t.

Watch for our upcoming posts for a series on Computer Security Best Practices.

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