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Even smart people can be stupid when it comes to security

Even smart people can be stupid when it comes to security
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Why is it that so many computer-savvy people get tricked into handing over their information?

A new study published in The Journal of the Association for Information Systems suggests that we might not be as cautious online as we should be. Not only that, but many people might overestimate their ability to recognize online fraud before becoming a victim.

Alert: Your cellphone is vulnerable to viruses. Here's the software that you need to protect it.

The study — conducted by Brigham Young University — first asked its 68 participants how much they knew about spotting a fake along with other security questions.

Here's how the study worked:

After taking the survey, participants had to "test" a website for the researchers. As they performed the task, they'd receive warnings that the site they were browsing wasn't safe. After the seventh time that a participant ignored the warning, they were greeted with a screen-covering message declaring that the user had been hacked.

While I'm almost never comfortable with claims that come out of studies with only 68 participants, the message behind this research is clear. We aren't as safe as we think.

Not only that, but we're sometimes willing to ignore warnings from our security software or Web browser if it takes up too much time. The only way to increase your chances is to trust your computer and software.

If a website is flagged as a potential threat by your Web browser: Trust it.

Further, you might even want to familiarize yourself with the terminology behind computer security. Find out more about them right here.

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Source: Slate
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