Skip to main content

Why do some people manage phishing e-mails better than others?

Buy Article:

$54.08 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to investigate the behaviour response of computer users when either phishing e-mails or genuine e-mails arrive in their inbox. The paper describes how this research was conducted and presents and discusses the findings. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This study was a scenario-based role-play experiment that involved the development of a web-based questionnaire that was only accessible by invited participants when they attended a one-hour, facilitated session in a computer laboratory. Findings ‐ The findings indicate that overall, genuine e-mails were managed better than phishing e-mails. However, informed participants managed phishing e-mails better than not-informed participants. Other findings show how familiarity with computers, cognitive impulsivity and personality traits affect behavioural responses to both types of e-mail. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study does not claim to evaluate actual susceptibility to phishing emails. The subjects were University students and therefore the conclusions are not necessarily representative of the general population of e-mail users. Practical implications ‐ The outcomes of this research would assist management in their endeavours to improve computer user behaviour and, as a result, help to mitigate risks to their organisational information systems. Originality/value ‐ The literature review indicates that this paper addresses a genuine gap in the research.

Keywords: Communication processes; Electronic mail; Human behaviour; Individual behaviour; Information management; Information risk; Information security; Phishing; Social engineering

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 16, 2012


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more