Scam victims hooked up to EEG for art campaign


"When the victims were asked to recall their experiences of cybercrime, the resulting artwork showed an eruption of brain activity that is often associated with stress, anxiety, and uncertainty – feelings that can be long-lasting and have a significant life impact” – Lee Chambers, psychologist and wellbeing expert.

The old saying, “life imitates art,” applies to all realms of life. It certainly does in the context of Gen’s new artistic campaign, ‘Scam Artists.’

The educational campaign, spearheaded by Gen Digital, uses visuals to show the effects of cybercrime on the brain.

To demonstrate these effects, three individuals who had firsthand experience of cybercrime's negative effects were fitted with electroencephalography (EEG) headsets, which monitored their brain reactions.

The participants were asked to recall their experiences before, during, and after the attacks took place. The headsets recorded how their brains reacted to the experience and transformed this data into visuals.

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Screenshot from Gen Digital

The EEG picked up the emotional reactions of one subject, identity theft victim Lynn Beattie.

  • State one: Relaxation
  • State two: Anxious thinking and stress after recalling her experience
  • State three: Return to relaxation when provided with cybersecurity solutions

The campaign, in collaboration with psychologist Lee Chambers, aims to demonstrate our human instincts, which may lead to complacency about online safety.

Following the campaign, a Gen study surfaced surrounding people’s relationships with cyber threats and cyber protection.

The research found that 58% of American and British believe they could be vulnerable to cybercrime. This means that 42% of people still don’t believe cybercrime could ever happen to them.

The study found that those who have fallen victim to cybercrimes reported that stress and anger were their leading emotions.

Furthermore, only half of the people surveyed had some form of cybersecurity solution on hand to protect themselves from cybercrime.

The artistic campaign demonstrates the negative psychological effects of cybercrime on the human brain and the positive effects of cybersecurity solutions on an individual's mental well-being.

The company, Gen Digital, aims to empower netizens through cyber safety brands like Norton, Avast, LifeLock, Avira, AVG, and more. The company is dedicated to creating technological solutions that allow individuals to navigate the digital world safely, privately, and confidently.