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UD study shows cranky employees more likely to sidestep cybersecurity

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New Research from University of Delaware’s John D’Arcy suggests that negative emotions can lead employees to engage in unsafe computer behavior.

This could include using weak passwords, not using two-factor authentication, or accessing unapproved software, among other actions outside of company protocols.

The main insight of the survey was that “moods and emotions influence people’s security-related behavior,” D’Arcy said. “And these things vary from day to day, which can make people’s behavior vary from day to day.”

If an employee has a rough day, for instance, they may choose to bypass security measures such as carefully thinking over a new password or avoiding potentially dangerous websites.

D’Arcy worked with City University of Hong Kong’s Paul Benjamin Lowry to survey professionals across the U.S. The research will be available in a forthcoming edition of Information Systems Journal.

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