Black Friday comes from American culture as it marks the beginning of “Christmas shopping.” This is the day when all retailers announce traditional discounts on products in order to attract customers. The media is abuzz with coverage of angry crowds fighting over the latest products at the shop counters, and happy customers ostentatiously displaying their trophies bought at promotional prices.
What is the FOMO effect?
FOMO (or Fear Of Missing Out – Fear Of Missing Out or Fear Of Missing Out) is that ancient mental attitude that drives us to make decisions in order not to miss out on benefits or price reductions. To aid this process, the emotional part of our brain, under the influence of affect, violently instructs the glands to spew cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine into the bloodstream and thereby disables the unsuspecting slow part of our brain that makes rational decisions and protects us from rash actions. The result then comes when the levels of these hormones move into normal ranges and people begin to perceive what they have done. There are those who are satisfied with the equilibrium, but there are also those who are disappointed and fall into cognitive dissonance.
What is the relationship with cybersecurity?
The link between the three is strong because the same marketing tricks are used in order to deceive and deceive us. And in order to amplify this effect, moments of holidays, the end of the working week, the end of the working day, specific days of the month or year are selected, which are overloaded with a lot of administrative work such as declaring and paying taxes and social security, financial reports, reports to investors, etc. Circumstances are chosen in which people experience high levels of stress accompanied by cognitive and emotional overload and tend to ignore the impending danger, namely to open a link with a malicious file, to open a link with a link to change a password, responding to a fake request for a quote, responding to a fake NRA or NSSI representative, in connection with an employee’s wage garnishment or blocked social security payments, accepting a fake notarized summons, and many others. The pretext can be any, and the association can be abstract to give the necessary context in our everyday life.
Examples of such situations can be many – the well-known cases of a compromised business email, a changed bank account, a request for a quote for a large amount, a large invoice, an unpaid bill, a fake CV and many more.
Be vigilant! Always put the information you see to further validation. Beware of emotional decisions, and for the important and strategic ones, use an entourage of trusted and critical thinking partners, employees and friends.
If you liked the article, come to our training on 11 December where we will discuss many more things related to the psychological aspects of information security. Information about the training can be found here.