The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently published a new article that finds that most typical computer users experience security fatigue that leads users to engage in risky behavior when they are at work and at home.
In one interview, a participant said that when it comes to computer security “I don’t pay any attention to those things anymore…People get weary from being bombarded by ‘watch out for this or watch out for that.’”
The study confirms what we all feel daily. Instead of a handful of passwords, we are supposed to use a different password for every online application, and it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. Throughout the study, they “got this overwhelming feeling of weariness throughout all of the data.” They found that computer users feel overwhelmed, bombarded, and were exhausted from being on alert all of the time, trying to adopt safe behavior and understanding the complexities of data security.
Because users are so tired, they feel resigned and out of control, and therefore they avoid decisions, choose easy options, behave impulsively and fail to follow the rules. This is basic psychology.