Agua International Water Relief is proud to be leading the global nonprofit industry in an effort to broaden the scope of cyber safety, security, and awareness. As an organization who engages with many of its volunteers and beneficiaries online we understand that we have a responsibility to address and educate the public on a wide range of known threats in the cyber domain.
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1) Defining the Cyber Safety Domain: The U.S. Department of Defense defined Cyberspace as, "...a global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent networks of information technology infrastructures and resident data, including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers."
This means that the cyber safety domain may include but is not limited to hardware, software, the human, television, internet, computer, radio, car, bus, train, plane, ship, some homes, and mobile devices.
Interactive 1: Can you name the sources of electromagnetic disruption in your room?
2) The Impact of Cyber Dynamics on Interpersonal Behavior: One real world example of how cyber dynamics can impact your interpersonal behavior is by developing latent unwanted negative compulsive behaviors. An obsession to electromagnetic (EM) stimulation can trigger primary emotions like fear, isolation, guilt, and shame, which are sometimes associated with negative behavior. For example, a person can develop a tolerance to images they normally wouldn't when they are just casually surfing the net checking email or walking by a store. Marketing tactics like “click bait” can quickly turn into “click trails” which create biophysical patterns of interaction, aka habits.
When there is no immediate negative consequences with such actions a person can find themselves operating in a “fantasy land” making choices they normally wouldn't such as impulse shopping or worse. Repetitive positive short term rewards like the feelings of pleasure involved with electromagnetic audiovisual stimulation can eventually lead to an otherwise unwanted change in lifestyle. Once a person is locked in a thought the behavioral experience can operate on one's lifestyle much like a virus.
When this ensues for a period it is possible that a person may experience second order effects like excessive thoughts, obsession, self-loathing, and ultimately death. This poses a threat to global wellness and international security, and it affects the general public at large regardless of age, gender, or race.
So what are we to do?
First and foremost we need to recognize that there are a lot of good things about being on the internet and our organization is an example of that. We are able to communicate to project volunteers all over the world using the internet and we are able to share good news stories about our work online. Additionally, since this threat appears to be initially nondiscriminatory it is certainly a cause we can all unite around.
However, we cannot continue to pretend that the internet isn't having a detrimental affect on our global communities. For example, our organization doesn't even know if we want to help people in Africa obtain internet connectivity (which would enhance their independence) because it has such a seemingly disastrous impact on families dependence in America. What does the opioid epidemic have to do with cyber awareness? Well, for one the same addictive behaviors online can be classified as similar when viewed from reward based physiology. However, the online user often doesn't even feel the pain on the internet.
Fortunately, we are used to working in crises, and like everything else there is a lot of good that can come from us all growing together. In the end, it's one person helping another, in the support of a loving community, which has an action plan for change and a desire to serve others at the center of it mission. Those are all resources we already have available right here at Agua International Water Relief and we are happy to be of service in this capacity as long as we ask you to engage with us online.
If you would like to join or sponsor our CAP community please send us an email at:
A special thanks to Christopher Lucey, Adviser to JAMA Global, and Transform World 2020 for assisting us with strategic direction on this program and for providing us with the tools to rise and build.
Additional cyber related behavioral impact data:
Sight Effects (C) Greg Gallup, September 9, 2020