Kaspersky Lab, the cybersecurity company, revealed in a new survey on Tuesday (May 1) that 81 percent of Americans and 72 percent of Canadians are stressed out about the recent rash of data breaches.
In a press release highlighting the company’s new report, dubbed “The State of Cyber-Stress,” Kaspersky said consumers’ lack of awareness as to how they can protect themselves from hackers online is leading to increased stress around technology and cybersecurity in general.
“With massive data breaches and cyberattacks making headlines nearly every week, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the cybersecurity risks out there,” said Brian Anderson, VP of Consumer Sales, Kaspersky Lab, North America, in a press release. “However, many people still have no idea how to begin securing their devices from these threats, or what to do if they become a victim. With no way to gain control, the very idea of cybersecurity becomes completely overwhelming. By educating consumers about cyber threats and how to avoid them, technology companies can do their part to help to reduce our community’s collective cyber-stress.”
Kaspersky Lab polled 2,000 consumers in North America about their feelings toward cybersecurity and the actions they take to protect themselves. It found that in addition to feeling stressed out about data breaches, people are cyber-stressed about creating secure passwords and keeping track of all the login information required to access online accounts. The survey revealed that 46 percent of consumers aged 16 to 24 find managing their online accounts stressful, the largest group to signal stress about that. Kaspersky Lab noted that 46 percent of survey respondents said they had experienced one cybersecurity issue during the past five years, while 14 percent of Americans and 6 percent of Canadians said they had four or more cybersecurity issues during the past five years.
“Research has shown that it’s not the big, acute, one-time challenges that cause the majority of stress-related disease and disorder, but the everyday, nagging, accumulating pressure and tension we feel when we don’t have enough capacity to cope with the demands of life,” explained Heidi Hanna, Ph.D., executive director of the American Institute of Stress, in the same press release. “Especially when we feel unsafe, out of control or unable to keep up with the pace of change, something that is inherent in our constantly connected, digital lifestyle.”