“The new normal” is a phrase most of us hope to never hear again after the pandemic is over. Unfortunately, the new normal includes higher levels of stress from money issues, job challenges, family problems, and believe it or not, data breaches.
Since 2018, Kaspersky has been researching the impact of cybersecurity issues on stress levels in adults from North America, also known as “Cyber-Stress.” This year’s survey also looked at how the pandemic has impacted Cyber-Stress. While 57% of respondents increased their use of online services due to the pandemic, not everyone feels prepared to protect their digital life.
Over the past two years, cybersecurity stress levels have remained pretty constant with over a third of respondents feeling stressed out by news of data breaches. Data breaches are attacking schools, financial institutions, retailers and more organizations that people have been interacting with more online. 64% of respondents even went as far to say that a bank account hack would cause them more stress than losing their job, a 39% increase from 2019.
As people spend more and more of their time online, they’re becoming more confident in their skills to evade and stave off hackers. While some people, largely Millennials and males, feel more prepared to deal with any potential cyberattacks, Gen Xers and women don’t feel the same way. But, no matter the sex or age of a person — the importance of cybersecurity remains the same. Similarly, there is a hope that businesses are protecting your data. However, we all know that there is a lot of gray area… so with that said, here are some tips on keeping your data safe while at home:
- Use strong, unique passwords for every account. Coming up with a different secure password for every online account is tough, so make sure to find a system that works for you. This could be storing login information in a password manager, or using a word association technique like David Jacoby, Head of GReAT Northern Europe at Kaspersky had recommended.
- Secure your mobile and personal devices with a PIN or password. 52% of people don’t lock their smartphones with a simple PIN or password. This can help to protect your personal information from outsiders if your device is ever lost or stolen.
- Use a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi. A VPN can encrypt all data sent over public Wi-Fi, ensuring that third parties cannot view or intercept your personal information. For those that are often using devices on the go, in airports, coffee shops or hotels, a VPN is a must-have.
- Consider a security solution that can protect your personal data. Less than a quarter of people, 24%, use a security solution on all of their devices. Reliable security software can protect you from malware, ransomware, phishing, spam and more, while also offering features that can enhance your online life, like a password manager and parental control components.