Sunday, 5 March 2017

Book conversation: The Cyber Effect

The Cyber Effect
Mary Aiken
Speigel & Grau, 2016

Dr Mary Aiken, a leading expert in the field of cyber-psychology writes an apt book for the time we are living in.  In this she describes such baffling new age terminologies as catfishing, bots, cyber-bullying, online syndication, internet gaming addiction, and the dread inducing Deep Web.

Never heard of these terminologies?  Then grab hold of this book to know more.  And it is not sufficient to know about them, but be you also need to be prepared.  As Aiken puts it, to beat an online criminal, you need to think like one.  Because it is not just about your cyber-safety, it is also about the safety of your near and dear ones, especially the children whose vulnerability to online scams and abuse is enhanced in the cyberspace.  

Aiken readily admits that this is a developing field, and the rapid advance in cyber-technology makes it very difficult to keep abreast of the evolving threats.  Therefore evidence based studies are hard to come by in this field.  Instead she relies on an intuitive approach and educated conjecturing to understand and name the cyber-phenomena.  

This book has helped me be more aware of the cyber-risks.  I have also started motivating medical students, who are tech savvy, but unaware of these risks, to be more mindful of them.  Recently, when they were preparing for a seminar on behavioural addictions, I made sure they also included internet addiction in the presentation. 

I have also recommended the book to a software professional friend of mine (we work together for a mental health charity) for probable locally relevant collaborative applications such as cyber-counselling and cyber-awareness.  

Let's see now... 

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