Press release

Kaspersky Lab Survey Finds Cybersecurity a Top Source of Stress for Consumers in North America

Sponsored by Businesswire

Today, Kaspersky
released a new survey
, which revealed that 75% of people in the U.S. and Canada are
stressed by the number of passwords they have to manage. The research
also found that facing a cybersecurity incident is one of the most
stressful situations modern consumers can face. When presented with a
variety of scenarios, two-in-three people (66%) ranked having their bank
account compromised as the most stressful – more than the number of
people who selected losing their job, being in a minor car accident or
missing a flight.

One year after its May 2018 study,
Kaspersky Lab is revisiting the issue of cybersecurity-related stress,
based on the results of a new survey of internet users in the U.S. and
Canada. The survey report, “Cyber-Stress, Refreshed,” examines how
consumers’ stress levels have changed in the last year, whether these
feelings influence their online behavior, and how technology knowledge
affects cyber-stress.

Data breaches a cause for concern

This year’s research found that in addition to worrying about passwords,
68% of consumers in North America are stressed by news of data breaches.
Unfortunately, these cybersecurity incidents are becoming more
commonplace, with 1,244 data breach incidents reported
in 2018. In Kaspersky Lab’s survey, 34% of Americans and 23% of
Canadians said that within the last year, a company has informed them or
they have noticed that their digital data was compromised in a breach.

Overall, these high levels of stress around data security do not appear
to influence strong personal cybersecurity habits. For example, nearly a
third of respondents (30%) said that they use the same passwords for all
or most of their online accounts, rising to 44% of those aged 16 to 24.

While cyber-stress is a widespread issue, knowledge of cybersecurity is
a key factor that appears to impact stress levels, with the research
uncovering a reverse correlation between security knowledge and
cyber-stress. Of the survey respondents who self-identified as
cybersecurity experts, 86% said that news of data breaches caused them
stress, compared with just 44% of people with no knowledge of

Facing cyber-stress: The good and the bad

Stress often has a negative connotation, but according to experts, some
amount of stress can actually be beneficial for a healthy life. This
research shows that a moderate level of cyber-stress can positively
influence consumers to adopt strong personal cybersecurity habits.
People with well-managed cyber-stress are more likely to take proactive
steps to protect their devices and data, such as using strong passwords
and leveraging security solutions on all their devices.

“People still tend to assume that stress is bad for us, when it is
actually intended to help us fuel positive change,” said Heidi Hanna,
Ph.D., executive director of the American Institute of Stress. “This
study reinforces that fact by demonstrating what happens when we have
just enough stress or focused attention on something that matters to us,
but not so much that we feel overwhelmed or out of control. Stress is
good at showing us what we care about – if we didn’t care, we wouldn’t
feel stressed. As long as we use the energy and information that stress
provides to take positive action, like educating and empowering
ourselves, stress is our friend instead of our enemy.”

“Whether you’re a cybersecurity expert or just an average technology
user, it can be overwhelming to feel like you’re not in control of your
own personal data,” added Brian Anderson, vice president of consumer
sales at Kaspersky Lab North America. “However, this doesn’t mean that
you should tune out whenever you see cybersecurity headlines in the
news, because data breaches and cyber-threats are important for all
consumers to be aware of. Acknowledging cybersecurity issues without
allowing them to become overwhelming is one of the best ways to manage
cyber-stress, as this attitude empowers a proactive approach towards
data security.”

Kaspersky Lab recommends the following tips for consumers to find the
balance between maintaining a secure lifestyle and avoid being burdened
by cyber-stress:

  • Use strong passwords that are unique for every account, and consider
    using a password manager to help you remember them.
  • Use a VPN like Kaspersky
    Secure Connection
    when connecting to public Wi-Fi that encrypts
    all data sent over public networks.
  • Leverage a security solution that can protect you from malware,
    phishing, ransomware and other online threats, such as Kaspersky
    Security Cloud
  • Learn about cybersecurity and online privacy. Ignorance may be bliss,
    but more knowledge of cybersecurity threats and best practices will
    help you reduce the impact of a future incident.

More information is available in Kaspersky Lab’s full report, “Cyber-Stress,

About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity
company, which has been operating in the market for over 21 years.
Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is
constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and
services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and
consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security
portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of
specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and
evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by
Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect
what matters most to them. Learn more at