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Investigating and comparing the predictors of the intention towards taking security measures against malware, scams and cybercrime in general

Marijn Martens (UGent) , Ralf De Wolf (UGent) and Lieven De Marez (UGent)
(2019) COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR . 92(March). p.139-150
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Measuring Cost and Impact of Cybercrime in Belgium - BBC
Abstract
It is a popular belief that humans are the weakest link in cyber-security. However, there has been little research devoted to why people do (or do not) protect themselves and what explains their behaviors. Instead, more attention has been paid to victimization and prevalence of cybercrime. Therefore, we investigate and compare the motivations to protect oneself against scams, malware and cybercrime in general using an adjusted model of the protection motivation theory (PMT), which includes subjective norm, threat and coping awareness. To test this model, different structural equation models (SEM) were used and compared, with each focusing on a specific cybercrime. Our non-random (convenience) sample (n = 1181) is representative for age, residence and gender for the Belgian population. The results show the extended PMT model is a good predictive model to explain people's protection against cybercrime. The findings suggest significant differences when protecting oneself against ‘technical’ cybercrimes (malware), compared to more ‘social’ cybercrimes (scams). The differences are situated on the predictive role of coping, threat awareness and perceived vulnerability. Furthermore, we found subjective norm to be an important predictor in the intention toward protecting against all cybercrimes. Recommendations for further research and awareness campaigns are provided in the discussion.
Keywords
Cybercrime, Protection motivation theory, Malware, Scam, Subjective norm, Awareness

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Citation

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Chicago
Martens, Marijn, Ralf De Wolf, and Lieven De Marez. 2019. “Investigating and Comparing the Predictors of the Intention Towards Taking Security Measures Against Malware, Scams and Cybercrime in General.” Computers in Human Behavior 92 (March): 139–150.
APA
Martens, Marijn, De Wolf, R., & De Marez, L. (2019). Investigating and comparing the predictors of the intention towards taking security measures against malware, scams and cybercrime in general. COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR , 92(March), 139–150.
Vancouver
1.
Martens M, De Wolf R, De Marez L. Investigating and comparing the predictors of the intention towards taking security measures against malware, scams and cybercrime in general. COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR . Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2019;92(March):139–50.
MLA
Martens, Marijn, Ralf De Wolf, and Lieven De Marez. “Investigating and Comparing the Predictors of the Intention Towards Taking Security Measures Against Malware, Scams and Cybercrime in General.” COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR 92.March (2019): 139–150. Print.
@article{8580832,
  abstract     = {It is a popular belief that humans are the weakest link in cyber-security. However, there has been little research devoted to why people do (or do not) protect themselves and what explains their behaviors. Instead, more attention has been paid to victimization and prevalence of cybercrime. Therefore, we investigate and compare the motivations to protect oneself against scams, malware and cybercrime in general using an adjusted model of the protection motivation theory (PMT), which includes subjective norm, threat and coping awareness. To test this model, different structural equation models (SEM) were used and compared, with each focusing on a specific cybercrime. Our non-random (convenience) sample (n\unmatched{202f}=\unmatched{202f}1181) is representative for age, residence and gender for the Belgian population. The results show the extended PMT model is a good predictive model to explain people's protection against cybercrime. The findings suggest significant differences when protecting oneself against {\textquoteleft}technical{\textquoteright} cybercrimes (malware), compared to more {\textquoteleft}social{\textquoteright} cybercrimes (scams). The differences are situated on the predictive role of coping, threat awareness and perceived vulnerability. Furthermore, we found subjective norm to be an important predictor in the intention toward protecting against all cybercrimes. Recommendations for further research and awareness campaigns are provided in the discussion.},
  author       = {Martens, Marijn and De Wolf, Ralf and De Marez, Lieven},
  issn         = {0747-5632},
  journal      = { COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR },
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {March},
  pages        = {139--150},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  title        = {Investigating and comparing the predictors of the intention towards taking security measures against malware, scams and cybercrime in general},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.11.002},
  volume       = {92},
  year         = {2019},
}

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