When it comes to Cybersecurity, does fear persuade or does it paralyze?

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*Special mention to Dr. Robert B. Cialdini for inspiring this post’s headline. It’s one of the “50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive“.

In his book, Dr. Cialdini writes that “when the fear-producing message describes danger but the audience is not told of clear, specific, effective means of reducing the danger, they may deal with the fear by “blocking out” the message or denying that it applies to them. As a consequence, the may indeed be paralyzed into taking no action at all.

When it comes to Cybersecurity coverage in the media, it’s easy to notice how much Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) have polluted the landscape, thus generating IMHO much more paralysis than persuasiveness, mainly when it gets to raising people’s awareness regarding cybersecurity.

As part of the ISSA France chapter, I’m taking part in a one-year crowdsourcing campaign, called #CyberPourTous, launched during the October 2014 European CyberSecurity Month, to accompany journalists and media professionals in covering cybersecurity topics in a more constructive and efficient way, staying away as much as possible for the polluting FUD.

As I was going through my social media timeline yesterday, I was so glad to stumble upon an interview with Mr. Tony Feghaly, CEO of Potech Consulting in Lebanon, who was on Future TV’s “Alam Al Sabah” program, talking about cybersecurity and hacking.

I highly invite readers to watch the interview’s replay (starting at 1’43) below as it is a great example of proper cybersecurity coverage in the media : facts, pedagogy and secured alternatives. This is, IMHO, a #CyberPourTous compliant media coverage :-) Kudos to Tony Feghaly and Future TV!

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