New York: People are their own worst enemies when it comes to online security, a study indicates.
People care about keeping their computers secure, security warnings are conveniently ignored while accessing risky websites, found an experiment by American researchers.
"We see these messages so much that we stop thinking about them. In a sense, we don't even see them anymore, and so we often ignore them and proceed anyway," said lead author Anthony Vance from Brigham Young University (BYU).
Their test involved a group of college students who were asked how they felt about online security.
The participants were told to use their own laptops to log on to a website to categorise pictures of Batman as animated or photographed.
As the participants clicked through images, warning signs would randomly pop up indicating malware issues with the site they were accessing.
Researchers found that participants repeatedly ignored web security warnings.
While results showed that people say they care about web security but behave like they do not, they do behave in-line with what their brains say.
In other words, people's brainwaves better predict how risky they are with online security.
"We learned that brain data is a better predictor of security behaviour than a person's own response," Vance said, adding that "with neuroscience, we are trying to understand this weakest link and understand how we can fortify it".
The study was published in the Journal of the Association for Information Systems.