Blame it on your brain: Researchers discover why we ignore PC security warnings
A new study by BYU researchers find that most users consistenly ignore pop-ups when they're busy doing something else.
Credit: MIT News This is the reason so much security work goes on in the background, without your knowledge.
By Mark Hachman
| Aug 22, 2016 12:13 PM PT
If you’re the type of person who absolutely hates Microsoft’s practice of downloading and installing Windows 10 security updates late at night—well, new research says you have only yourself to blame.
A study conducted by Brigham Young University in conjunction with Google found that 90 percent of all computer users ignore security warnings and other alerts, especially while we’re busy performing some other task. In fact, being interrupted actually results in lower neural activity, researchers found, after conducting MRI tests.
Specifically, 74 percent of users ignored security messages that popped up while closing a web browser window, according to Jeff Jenkins, the lead author of the study. About 79 percent ignored messages if they were watching a video, the BYU team found
. Finally, 87 percent ignore a pop-up if it came as they were concentrating on typing a confirmation code correctly.