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The Big Phish: Has your mind been hacked?

Cyber scammers play on the way our brains work. An effective method to not fall victim is to "Stop. Think. Act".

Published Sat, Feb 20, 2021 · 05:50 AM

THE victims of scams come from all walks of life and socioeconomic statuses. What is it that brings these people to be members of this unfortunate club? Why do some people fall prey? Is it just a matter of time until you are faced with the right con and con artist - are we all vulnerable and merely victims-in-waiting?

Some traditional economists believe that some people are just more gullible than others. However, this view stems from the hypothesis that in general, humans are in control 100 per cent of the time, and who make decisions using a logical and rational computational process.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. As highlighted in Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, humans have conflicting ways in which they think and operate. In the book, Kahneman describes how the brain has two systems - the first system is the "fast, automatic, intuitive approach", while the second system is the "slower analytical mode, where reason dominates".

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