Study Shows Elevated Stress among Those Believing They Are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
By Evan Stewart
Results from a study recently published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking revealed a correlation between the stress hormone cortisol and exposure to a personal cyberattack. Individuals who had been victims of cyberattacks had higher levels of the hormone in their saliva, as opposed to a control group not exposed to attack. The attack victimes also indicated their perception of personal insecurity and feared they would most likely fall victim to similar attacks in the future.
This study was designed by a group of Israeli researchers as a way to gauge the psychological effects of cyber terror. Researchers were interested in discovering just what type of possible physical damage would be displayed by the individuals studied, even if the participants were never exposed to direct bodily harm.
The outcome of the study indicated that because of both psychological as well as physiological changes occurring in the test subjects, perhaps better teaching and disaster preparedness could mitigate some of these changes. If the fear and anxiety associated with such an attack were lessened, individuals would most likely be better suited to handle the situation and prevent future occurrences from happening.