How to teach people to be aware of cyber security

Terry Zink Microsoft

In 2010, Terry Zink presented an paper entitled 'The Psychology of Spamming', which covered how certain scams trigger various emotional responses in our brains, leading people to fall for them. In the end, he concluded that these types of scams could be combated through the use of education - if people were educated about scams, they would be less prone to fall for them.

The cyber security industry has been complaining for years that the average user too frequently implements poor security practices. However, we never look at ourselves to see what we can do to best get our message across.

This paper will focus on how the security industry can utilize successful education principles to teach people to be more aware of cyber security by examining the following points:

  • How the human brain works when it acquires, learns and retains new information
  • How students best learn new information
  • Different techniques that teachers can use to best present the information so that students can retain it better
  • An outline of the basics of cyber security that the average person should know

By changing how *we* present our message to the average user, we can best equip them with the tools they need to avoid falling prey to cybercriminals.

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