Canadian Security Magazine

News
Kaspersky survey: data breaches are stressful


According to a new survey report, “Dealing with a new normal in our digital reality,” released by cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky, roughly seven out of 10 people (69 per cent) find the news of a data breach stressful.

Ransomware in particular is a source of stress, especially given the number of major public ransomware breaches that have been reported recently — 64 per cent of respondents said it was their top concern.

The survey included results from 2,500 consumers, including 1,200 Canadians and 1,200 Americans. Kaspersky conducted “stress” surveys in 2018 (“The State of Cyber-Stress”) and 2019 (“Cyber-Stress, Refreshed”) in addition to this most recent one. Breach-related stress levels, based on survey data, have not changed significantly over those three surveys, however the amount of time respondents are spending online has. During the pandemic months, time online has gone up, with 57 per cent reporting an increase in their use of online services —  and 27 per cent of respondents said their usage has “significantly increased.”

That overall trend is modified by age group: 64 per cent of Millennials increased use of online services compared to 45 per cent of Baby Boomers. (In all age groups, only seven per cent said their use of online services has decreased.)

Advertisement

In terms of personal cybersecurity expertise, almost half (46 per cent) of respondents self-assessed as having a basic or beginner level of knowledge; 17 per cent considered themselves to be experts.

“Whether the amount that you used online services went up or not since the start of the pandemic, it can be stressful to try and manage your digital life,” said Marina Alekseeva, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kaspersky in a statement from the cybersecurity company. “It is important to gain control of your digital life to have peace of mind in knowing your data is protected. You can do this by protecting your devices, following proper security hygiene, going to online resources to relax, and staying up-to-date and educated about cybersecurity issues.”

Kaspersky recommends the following tips for cyber-safety (and stress reduction):

  • Use strong passwords that are unique for every account
  • Secure your device with a PIN or password
  • Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi
  • Use a security solution that can protect your personal data
  • Find tools to navigate your digital life mindfully
  • Learn about cybersecurity and online privacy