Michigan University discovers a correlation between low self-control and Cyber Attacks

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A recent study made by Michigan State University says that all those who do impulsive online shopping, download music, and indulge in compulsive email use can become easy targets for hackers launching cyber attacks. Here, the conclusion was driven based on the personality traits and behaviors of both obvious and subtle web users.

“People who have low self-control are at greater risk for being susceptible to malware attacks. Here an online user’s web behavior plays a vital role in predicting how cybercrime perseveres”, said Tomas Holt, lead author of the research.

Scientists who participated in the research said that low self-control comes in many forms. When a person shows signs of short shortsightedness, negligence, physical versus verbal behavior and an inability to delay gratification, it all adds to diverse online behavior.

Thus, the research confirms that those individuals who lack self-control are somehow connected to crimes according to a researched thesis in criminal psychology. And this is where they become susceptible to cyber attacks.

However, the said topic seems to be a bit biased as many argue that there is no correlation between low self-control and cybercrime victimization. But common sense makes us believe that people with low self-control often put themselves in situations where they get easily motivated by others to break the law.

Michigan University research on low self-control and cyber attacks was published in Social Science Computer Review. And saw over 6,000 participants who disclosed details of their computer behavior that made them vulnerable to malware and infections.

To quantify victimization, researchers asked the participants a list of questions on how they react to different situations. When they were asked queries related to computer behavior like computer operating slow, crashing, unexpected pop-ups and homepage changing on the web browser- all the details were noted down for the conclusion.

Holt said that people with low self-control were often seen downloading pirated movies or going for strange deals on consumer goods. This intriguing behavior made them fall easily for the honey traps laid by hackers.

Till date, we only focused on and dealt with the technical aspects of cybercrime. But haven’t explored the human aspects of cybercrime. The day we interpret the human side, we will discover solutions that are more trenchant for policy as well as intervention added Holt.

In near time, Holt hopes to cut the silos between the computer and social sciences to think holistically on combating cybercrime.