What is Cyberpsychology?

By Laura Baker, CyberWyoming

I think Dr. Erik Huffman, Cyberpsychologist, has the best practical definition I’ve heard for cyberpsychology. He said, cybersecurity is the only area in which we have applied tons of money and effort to find technological solutions, but we keep getting worse.  Why?  Because we haven’t addressed the human.

After all, the hackers use all sorts of urgent requests, scare tactics, time issues, secrecy, and manipulation.  This is all psychology.  We should fight back using psychology, but use a more positive approach.

So, cyberpsychology is the study of the human aspects of security.  Why people clickWhy people go around security protocols and policies.  Why people ignore the risks.

There are some interesting new studies out there.  Dr. Erik Huffman spoke at Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference two years ago and presented his initial work.  Why do people click?  The number one reason is impulsiveness.  

When asked, how do you combat impulsiveness? His answer was self reflection

Are you one of those people who impulse buys at the checkout stand?  Then, realize that and work on the self discipline to protect yourself and your employer when you are reading your email.

One our co-founders says “Read every email with a bad monster accent.”  It puts you on your guard.  Dr. Huffman would agree.  When you read email, you read it in your own voice and who is more trustworthy than me, myself and I? Reading in an accent you find untrustworthy activates your stranger danger in your limbic system.

Photo by PxHere
Read every email with a vampire accent.

What are other risk factors?  Well, Dr. Huffman reminds you not to be in a huge hurry before lunch and before you leave for the day.  Hacker’s know that you are extra productive at those times and may not take that extra second to think about the click.

The BBB ran a study that also reminds you that if you live alone, you are more prone to scammers.  So, talk to friends and family before any financial outlays.  https://www.bbb.org/ExposedtoScams

For businesses, join Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses and learn how to combat cybersecurity with your organization’s culture and know-how.  Register now. The competition starts Feb 1.  info@cyberwyoming.org or download the registration page at www.cyberwyoming.org/competition

FREE to Wyoming small businesses because of our members and sponsors!

Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition is FREE to Wyoming businesses because of our sponsors and donors.

For more on cyberpsychology, watch CyberWyoming’s blog site.  We have more to discuss in the coming days!


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