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Internet is a real place. Every time we switch on our computers, use a program or an application, or log in to a social media site, we enter a virtual space made up of worlds, domains, forums and rooms. But we behave differently when we interact with technology: technology amplifies and accelerates our deeds; it can help us find useful information, benefit from a wide range of services and stay in touch with our friends, but it can also create addictive-type behaviours and subliminally manipulate us online. Mary Aiken, a cyberpsychologist specialised in the impact of technology on human behaviour, warns us about cybersecurity: "We need a human-centred approach that is mindful of how humans actually use connected things and not how the tech sector presumes or expects them to". This is the fifth essay in the Big Ideas series created by the European Investment Bank.
About the Author
Dr Mary Aiken is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy University College Dublin, Ireland. She is an Academic Advisor (Psychology) to Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), and a member of the EC3 Academic Advisory Network. Mary is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center, the leading US institution for in-depth research and dialogue to inform actionable ideas on global issues. She is a lecturer in Criminology and Fellow at the School of Law, Middlesex University, and Fellow of the Society for Chartered IT Professionals. In 2017, Dr Mary Aiken was inducted into the Infosecurity Europe Hall of Fame, in recognition of her contribution to the information and cybersecurity sector. She is a strategic advisor at European and International levels in policy debates on the impact of technology on human behaviour, and has published and spoken worldwide on this topic. Her research interests include forensic cyberpsychology, AI, human factors in cybersecurity, Internet psychology, organised cybercrime, cyber criminology, behavioural manipulation online and the rights of the child in cyber contexts. Dr Mary Aiken is a member of the Advisory Board of The Hague Justice Portal - a foundation for international peace, justice and security. She is a Strategic Advisor to the European Paladin Capital Group Cyber fund. Mary's groundbreaking work inspired the CBS prime time television series CSI:Cyber. Her recent book The Cyber Effect was selected by the Times as 2016 Book of the Year in the "Thought Category", and 2016 Best Science Pick by Nature, the international journal of science and technology.