ICA Presentation: The Role of Habits and Prior Experience in Motivating User Cybersecurity Behavior


April 7th, 2017

May 29, 2017 @ 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 2, Indigo 202A
1 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

Our PhD student and research assistant Ruth Shillair will present two papers at the International Communication Association (ICA) conference in San Diego, CA this May. Her presentations are both on Monday, 5/29. Below you find the abstract for her 3:30pm talk:

Numerous communication initiatives have attempted to help inform computer users and motivate them to better digital safety practices. Extending protection motivation theory (PMT), the effects of the role of protection habit strength as well as previous experiences with online security threats were incorporated into a causal model that included both protection motivation intentions and current safety behaviors. This model was tested using a survey of 988 MTurk workers. Previous experiences with common security threats were directly related to perceptions of threat vulnerability and threat severity and also to beliefs in response efficacy. Partial least squares analysis among PMT variables showed habits were strong predictors of protective behaviors (β = 0.44, p < .001). The model explained 37 percent of the variance in protection motivation and 24 percent of the variance in protective behaviors. Experiences with common online security violations were significantly related to perceptions of threat vulnerability and threat severity.


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