Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Many computer users “too lazy” to protect online security

Many home computer users “too lazy” to protect online security

Around 80 percent of home computer users who admit that they don’t take measures to protect their online security cite laziness as the reason, a PhD study from Victoria University of Wellington has found.

Nicole Braun, who will be graduating in May with a Master’s in Information Systems, set out to understand why many home users do not adequately protect themselves online, despite extensive media coverage about the risks.

“At home there’s no punishment for not taking measures to protect yourself so it really comes down to individual initiative,” she says.

“I was surprised that so many people said they were too lazy to deal with the issue, although I suspect sometimes this was to conceal a lack of knowledge, as people prefer to be seen as lazy rather than incompetent. But others simply weren’t concerned about their own cybersecurity.”

Nicole found that people’s confidence levels determine how they act. “Some people are blindly trusting of every website they come across, without considering that legitimate websites can get hacked, so don't feel the need to take preventative measures.

“Then there are the people who think they will be safe from all harm as long as they use anti-virus software. However, we’re seeing more and more that just using anti-virus software isn’t enough.”

People’s previous experience was found to impact on how confident they felt in their ability to protect themselves. For instance, people who had experienced a virus on their computer that had either made them lose data or money from credit card fraud were more confident if they had managed to solve the problem.

“On the other hand, people who’d never experienced any issues often had the attitude that if it hadn’t happened to them there was nothing to worry about.”

Reliance on others was also found to be common, particularly women who relied on their husbands to protect them, or older users who were reliant on their children. “It takes time to find out what steps can be taken to protect yourself, so many of these people were happy to leave the problem in someone else’s hands.”

In her research, Nicole identified five animals that characterise the most typical security users, and suggests the best way of reaching each group. They are the: mouse (timid, low confidence), ostrich (low awareness, ignores the risks), coyote (knowledgeable but willing to take risks if the payoff is there), dark horse (good at protecting their security but lack confidence) and cockerel (proud of their security knowledge).

“My research made it clear that creating a ‘one size fits all’ security message isn’t effective, as you are dealing with such a range of personality types. I’d like to see more tailored messages getting out there.”

Nicole’s research was supervised by Dr Val Hooper, an associate professor and head of the School of Information Management, and PhD Programme Director Dr Dan Dorner, also in the School of Information Management.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news