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Human aspects of information security: An empirical study of intentional versus actual behavior

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Purpose ‐ A significant amount of empirical research has been conducted on the socio-economic (sociological, psychological, economic) aspects of information security, such as the phenomenon of individuals who are willing to take security measures, but often do not. There is a growing body of research relating to individual behaviour and decision making and the purpose of this paper is to analyze a survey on the behaviour of individuals who implement information security measures. Design/methodology/approach ‐ To promote effective information security measures, this paper refers to research on the psychology of persuasion from the field of social psychology. A survey was conducted into determinants for changing attitudes through persuasive messages, and the results were analysed. A questionnaire was used and the authors built a demonstrative experimental environment, which analysed in detail attitudinal changes in an individuals' behaviour. Findings ‐ The authors found differences in behaviour regarding the intent to implement measures discovered from the responses to the questionnaire as well as from actual conduct in the demonstrative experiment. Originality/value ‐ It is original to adopt a model defined by social psychology, especially Protection Motivation Theory and Elaborative Likelihood Model. The authors conducted both questionnaire survey and the psychological experiment.

Keywords: Data security; Decision making; Elaborative likelihood model; Individual behaviour; Information management; Information security; Persuasion psychology; Protection motivation theory

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 15, 2013


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