University of Twente Student Theses


Safe Internet Use

Baaij, Erik (2012) Safe Internet Use.

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Abstract:The internet has created many issues concerning security and safety in our society. To raise public awareness into internet safety, user awareness campaigns have emerged. However, regarding these campaigns, research shows that changing behaviour of end users is a complex issue. In that research, there is either an emphasis on the psychological aspect of safe internet use, or on the technology at hand and it's effectiveness. With this thesis, I aim to contribute to the understanding of user awareness campaigns from a technology studies perspective. In my research I make an in-depth analysis of the design and use of such a educational effort. I use the website from the Dutch government as case study. This website was part of a user awareness campaign that was conducted in 2009 and 2010. The website was visited close to half a million times during the two year campaign. To analyse the website, I use a script analysis. This concept links the design and use of an artefact. It allows me to create a detailed look into the anticipated user, the design and actual use of the website. Using this semiotic approach I can analyse how the script from the website invites or inhibits certain behaviour towards their user. To analyse the design, I held interviews with two core actors that were closely involved with the design of the website. Next to this I analysed documents that were used as requirements for the website, documents used to anticipate the future user, and I analysed the website itself. Lastly I conducted small qualitative research into the actual use of the website by interviewing four users after they used the website. My analysis lead to two main conclusions. First, the analysis of the actors involved in the development and design of reveal quite different expectations of the website. This resulted in a rather ambiguous design of the website, and the ambiguous script had subsequently different effects on the real user. Secondly, I will argue that the envisaged use of the website during design was to a large extent in compliance with the actual use, but without the website facilitating this use. The website itself did not include certain possibilities and uses that were both anticipated during design and expected during actual use.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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