Cybersecurity stress is impacting the majority of North American consumers and professionals, according to a Kaspersky Lab report released on Monday. The majority (75%) of consumers said they are stressed by the number of passwords they have to remember. And when presented with various cybersecurity situations, 66% of respondents reported having the bank account compromised as the most stressful, outweighing the number of respondents who selected losing their job, the report found.
SEE: Special report: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Along with concerns about passwords, some 68% of respondents also reported being stressed by news of data breaches, the report said. Unfortunately, data breaches are not slowing down, with more than 1,200 major incidents reported in 2018.
Despite the high levels of stress, users aren’t practicing good cybersecurity hygiene, the report found. Nearly a third of respondents (30%) reported using the same passwords for either all or most of their online accounts–that number rose to 44% for respondents between the ages of 16 and 24.
“Whether you’re a cybersecurity expert or just an average technology user, it can be overwhelming to feel like you’re not in control of your own personal data,” Brian Anderson, vice president of consumer sales at Kaspersky Lab North America, said in a press release. “However, this doesn’t mean that you should tune out whenever you see cybersecurity headlines in the news, because data breaches and cyber-threats are important for all consumers to be aware of. Acknowledging cybersecurity issues without allowing them to become overwhelming is one of the best ways to manage cyber-stress.”
The report recommended taking the following steps to avoid cybersecurity stress:
- Use strong, unique passwords for each account
- Consider using a password manager
- Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks
- Leverage a security tool that protects your accounts and systems from malware, phishing, ransomware, etc.
- Become more educated on cybersecurity and online privacy practices
For advice on incident response best practices, check out this TechRepublic article.