Cyber-attacks or data breaches are not usually words associated with emotional trauma. However, such invasions of privacy and publicising of private information can cause mental health issues.
Around 15% of Australians self-reported experiencing mental health issues due to cybercrime, and a further 6% claimed physical symptoms. Some mental health professionals see similar symptoms in data theft victims as those who suffer or witness physical trauma.
Protecting yourself from such emotional strains brings another dimension (and more urgency) to online security. More companies are offering apps and services that help users become proactive and ensure that data wellbeing is part of their overall digital life.
Enhance Your Data Wellbeing
Digital wellbeing focuses on managing technology's impact on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Due to the mental health consequences of cybercrime, taking steps to secure your personal data can be an essential aspect of digital wellbeing.
How Can You Achieve a Secure Digital Life?
First, "lock your digital door" by using stronger passwords or a password manager.
Options like two-factor authentication (2FA) requires you to provide a code at each login, making it impossible for some-one to enter your accounts even if they steal a password.
You also need to ensure that security software is up to date on all your devices and that you do not give any personal information over unsecured or unofficial sites.
Another step is to avoid apps and sites that require providing personal data and forego those with con-fusing designs or interfaces that may cause you to give away information inadvertently.
Security and Digital Wellness in the Future
Personal data security will continue to be an issue. Reuters reported a 13% jump in cybercrime this year, with about one incident in four targeting critical infrastructure and services due to the shift of working from home during the pandemic. As this trend of data theft continues, you can expect personal digital security to become a more publicised issue, and practices like data cleansing (removing all information except what is functionally necessary) become more common.