Aug 10 21

How Stress Creates Alcohol Addiction

Tranelle Maner

Alcohol abuse is a major problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol abuse is responsible for 88,000 deaths annually in the US alone. In addition to this toll, it costs an estimated $223.5 billion per year. While there are many reasons why people fall into alcohol abuse, there’s one major culprit that often gets overlooked: stress.

What Is Stress?

Stress can be defined as physical or emotional discomfort caused by the forces of nature. In most cases, it is the combination of physical discomfort and emotional distress that causes stress.

The brain tends to protect itself from any new stressful situations by flooding it with chemicals, called neurotransmitters, and making it harder for those neurotransmitters to be released, thus decreasing the effects of stress. The neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps make us feel good, is one of these chemicals. When we’re in a good mood, we release dopamine. When we’re depressed, we release less dopamine. But if too much stress is released, dopamine won’t be released as much, which can lead to feelings of depression and lower self-esteem

Stress comes from a variety of sources and is oftentimes a necessary part of life. However, chronic stress can take a toll on a person’s body and their emotional state, which often results in several physical and emotional problems.

Major sources of stress include money worries, unemployment, and relationship problems.

How Does Stress Harm the Body?

Here’s a simple explanation of how stress can harm your body and why it can be such a deadly threat to your health: the human body has a stress response that can be triggered in many different ways. In order to avoid danger, it activates the stress response. During the response, the body’s vital organs are stimulated and the immune system sends out an alarm to signal to the rest of the body that it is under threat. This alarm gets your adrenaline flowing and the heart races, and is accompanied by a rise in the levels of stress hormones. The levels of these hormones are usually controlled by a master hormone called Cortisol. A surge of the hormone, which can last anywhere from minutes to hours, triggers the brain’s dopamine reward system. Stress hormones like cortisol stimulate your cells to respond by increasing your blood sugar and energy levels, producing an immediate reward. But there’s a strong link between cortisol and depression. It also plays a major role in the development of alcoholism.

The Link Between Stress and Substance Addiction

Stressful times aren’t often talked about, but a study conducted by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University found that heavy alcohol use correlates with higher levels of stress. The results of this study support the idea that higher levels of stress can lead to an increased likelihood of addiction to substances like alcohol, although this may not be an effective mechanism to explain addiction from other substances such as nicotine or cocaine.

Conclusion

It’s estimated that a third of the general population in the US is suffering from stress on a daily basis and stress is far more damaging than you think.

Jul 7 21

A Guide to Cyberattacks: How to Stay Protected

Tranelle Maner

So you’ve learned about all the different types of scams and forms of trespassing hackers can do online to get your private information, and now you’re probably wondering the best ways to avoid them. While the idea of viruses and hacking can be deterring to doing anything on the internet, there are plenty of ways to protect your data and have a safe and fun internet experience.

Get a guess-proof password

The best way to avoid hackers or viruses or social engineering scams is to have a strong password and regularly change your passwords. Think of this as a two-for-one deal. Firstly, an impenetrable password makes it difficult for the bad guys to break in and gain access to your account. Secondly, you’re less likely to suffer from data breaches because your account is more difficult to break into. In order to do this, you need to be more familiar with the differences between security questions and answers. Basically, security questions ask you to provide a second, more complex question (example: What was the first car you owned?) that will give the hacker more clues to learn what kind of account you’re accessing.

Check privacy settings and never overshare

As well as staying away from sketchy sites and cutting out sketchy apps, changing your privacy settings can be one of the most important things you can do to keep your accounts safe. This is especially important if you’re part of a family, or part of a social media community. 

Be cautious when browsing the internet

Although it may not seem like a super technical thing to do, the first thing you can do to protect yourself online is to be cautious when visiting new websites and software. Just because you’re on your home computer and have more knowledge of the operating system, doesn’t mean you’re invincible to a hack. You can still fall victim to some kind of hacking if you’re not careful. Take care of your personal information 

Conclusion

Although no person has the ability to make their accounts completely impenetrable to any attack, it is possible to make it so difficult that hackers quit and avoid your information. By following these tips you’ll keep your information safe and enjoy your time on the internet.

Jul 6 21

A Guide to Cyberattacks: What Are They?

Tranelle Maner

In the past few years, cyberattacks have become increasingly common. From the emergence of malware to the creation of botnets, cyberattacks are considered some of the biggest threats facing both individual consumers and businesses worldwide, here’s our guide to cyberattacks.

What is a Cyberattack?

A cyberattack is an invasion of computer systems. Cyberattacks are usually conducted by a third party to gain access to information or to cause damage. Cybercriminals target social media networks to spread misinformation or propaganda, stealing information or extorting money from consumers. Many consumers aren’t taking cybercrime threats seriously and some even fall victim to fake news and scams, especially with elections around the corner.

Types of Cyberattacks

Organizations have always been at risk for cyberattacks. Nowadays, these threats are much more sophisticated. This is evident from the rise of malware, which cybercriminals use for malicious purposes, to hacktivists and groups like the “Anonymous”, a group who use the internet for an array of crimes and non-violent protests. Cyber attacks can come from any source, from hacking, social engineering, phishing and malware that can be downloaded onto your device.

Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common forms of a cyberattack, and is considered to be one of the most effective attacks. This type of attack works by tricking people into revealing personal information, or compromising systems that you don’t need to be compromised for, such as email.

Sliding doors

This attack is highly sophisticated and requires close proximity to the target. The malware can determine how far along you are in your hard drive and corrupt files.

How To Protect Yourself From A Cyberattack

Cybersecurity incident response is the protection of your business from an attack. The answer to protecting yourself and/or your business is having the right tools in place. Once you establish proper cybersecurity protocols you limit your risk for attacks.

Conclusion

As technology advances, security risks are rising leading to increased focus on protection against cyberattacks. There are a number of measures one can take to ensure their systems are secure. Remember to stay updated and vigilant when working online and you can keep your information safe.