In the past, we were following the current news from the radio and television. Today, many people can access news whenever and wherever they want via mobile devices, tablets and computers. These include negative news as well. Since we are “programmed” to keep our eyes on these news, we can get too caught up in negative news and we continue to read these news one after another.
We do this action so often that it even has a special expression: Doomscrolling, the addiction to following bad news.
Cybersecurity company ESET has examined the addiction to following bad news and the digital security risks it poses.
Bad news follow-up addiction means actively seeking and consuming negative news. Naturally, this behavior increases with the occurrence of negative and destructive events in the world. Two years ago, we saw an addiction to following bad news on the rise with the rise of COVID-19 cases worldwide. Although the impact of COVID-19 is now waning and many countries are lifting restrictions, we now face another threat, perhaps much more serious than the pandemic.
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, we see that words such as Ukraine, World War 3, Russia, war and occupation are increasingly being searched in search engines. In addition to being used more frequently among people, the fact that these words are given more space online and in print also supports the trend.
Why are we addicted to bad news?
We can explain this as the desire to have control over a situation. When people feel they can't change a situation, they may start to worry and need to hold on to any little sense of control they can have. Even if we can't control events in the world, we can control what content we consume. This is where we start to become addicted to bad news. This may seem harmless, even natural, at first, but it is extremely detrimental to emotional stability and intellectual growth. It is not a good sign to be constantly connected to a screen, especially if the content we consume is more negative. The addiction to following bad news can keep you from paying due attention to other areas of your life, at home and at work. What's more, you may not even be aware of the negative impact this addiction is having on you.
What can you do to save yourself from getting lost in the news of disaster?
First, stop following news feeds that post negative content on social media.
Limit the time you spend on negative news. Avoid getting caught in dangerous waters, but stay aware of what's going on.
Try to engage in positive offline interactions by surrounding yourself with people and coworkers that you think can cheer you up. Focus on positive things, read or watch positive things, or do things that bring you pleasure.
If you start seeing bad news again, try to occupy yourself with something else. In such situations, sometimes just putting your phone away can work.
Screen time to keep track of how much time you spend in apps
use monitoring tool.
Digital security risks posed by the addiction to following bad news
Cybercriminals are good at predicting people's online behavior. They know that when we encounter difficulties or something happens to others, we tend to overwhelm ourselves with negative content. They can exploit this addiction by offering malicious links in negative content shared in a row. Malicious links make you fake kazanIt may redirect you to fake login pages that are intended to download internal offers, download malware, or steal your account information. This can also be the first step towards becoming a victim of a ransomware attack. You can often fall into this situation by clicking on a malicious link without thinking about it.
The many ESET studies conducted on COVID-19-related scams show just that. To this day and until the emergence of the Omicron variant, social and psychological factors associated with fear and greed, phishing scams orchestrated by criminal organization members, ransomware, targeting national health authorities, fake vaccines and certificates, as well as fake or substandard testing, fake personal protective equipment and the theft of personal and financial data has increased. Now, after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, donation scams have started.
Use cybersecurity solutions from trusted manufacturers to protect yourself from online dangers. In this way, you can protect against many different threats lurking in the digital world.