Kaspersky Lab and Mensa are inviting Internet users to a very special challenge over the summer. The Global Think Test is made up of a series of online brain games and meant to challenge the combination and calculation skills of participants. On the ‘Global Think Test Day’ on September 6, 2014, a global competition will be held. Those demonstrating the best combination skills can win US $25,000. The organizations are trying to make people aware of the fact that sanity and reason are still the best weapons against many cyberthreats. But, as humans, our behavior is often geared towards being social and shaped by limited cognitive resources, say psychologists. So we need to train our alertness.
Playing games is in our DNA – but it’s also an Internet phenomenon. According to a recent Kaspersky Lab survey, 29% of Internet users worldwide play online games. We love it because it changes our perspective. Prof. Frank Schwab, media psychologist at University of Wuerzburg comments: “Being in some sort of ‘gaming mode’ means triple impact: cognitive and emotional processes are affected, leading to behavioral effects. Gaming may elicit strong emotions that may influence cognitions and finally behaviors within and even beyond the game.” So playing can help us train for unusual situations.
Still our brains are not used to interaction with digital devices. That makes it easy for criminals to create situations in which we might take wrong decisions. As social beings we are led by basic principles: trust, authority, diffusion, helpfulness, curiosity and reciprocation can be misused by criminals. Threats are evolving and it gets more and more difficult even for experienced users to quickly decide if a website is fake or real. So we have to train our alertness – to be able to quickly decide if a situation is dangerous or not.
Psychologists would say there are two general aspects that make us fall prey to cybercriminals when those use social engineering strategies. Besides the ‘issues’ of social beings, the limitation of our cognitive resources plays an important role. “We are not godlike creatures. Thus, we are not able to discern and evaluate every detailed piece of information in a complex situation. If the amount of information we have to process simultaneously is too high, the possibility of making mistakes and performing worse increases”, says Schwab. “We are simply not able to consider all the information given and to reflect about all the possible outcomes, especially under time pressure. And no one lives forever. As a result, we have to tend to mental shortcuts.”
Focus and alertness need to be trained
So we need to train our brains to quickly take the right decisions. The Global Think Test was designed to give participants challenges which require decision making under time pressure.
“The brain games which were developed together with Mensa are designed to make us aware of the fact that we are often not paying enough attention to detail,” says Alexander Erofeev, Chief Marketing Officer, Kaspersky Lab. “In today’s online world it is getting more and more important to develop a kind of digital risk literacy. Part of this is to be alert and recognize threats when we encounter them. Training this in a playful way is one of the aims of this Global Think Test Challenge, because developing these skills is as important for staying safe as installing security software.”
The Global Think Test
Kaspersky Lab teamed up with Mensa to develop a series of challenging combinatory online games and riddles. Partners like Scuderia Ferrari and cricket-legend Sachin Tendulkar are running special contests in which you can win a signed pair of racing gloves from Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen or a signed Sachin cricket bat.
The Global Think Test website is packed with all sorts of brain-training games, puzzles and IQ tests to help participants flex their mental muscles. And it also gives everyone the chance to register for the competition – Global Think Test Day – and win the main prize.
September 6, 2014 is Global Think Test Day, when a worldwide online challenge invites all participants to put their brainpower to the ultimate test and go head-to-head with some of the best brains in the world. The winner of this challenge – whoever gets the highest score in the quickest time – will become the Kaspersky Global Think Test Champion and win the grand prize worth US $25,000 in cash. The name of the winner will be announced on September 9, 2014.
All Global Think Test content is in English, but the competition is open to participants from all over the world.
You can find more information about the Global Think Test on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and share your best moments with the hashtag #GTT.
To register for the Global Think Test Day visit the website – http://www.globalthinktest.com.