University of Twente Student Theses


Investigation of individuals' behavior towards phishing attacks using the health belief model

Ehizibue, D. (2022) Investigation of individuals' behavior towards phishing attacks using the health belief model.

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Abstract:Cybercrime, in particular social engineering attacks, continue to evolve rapidly as individuals’ reliance on the Internet grows. Prior studies have repeatedly shown that cybersecurity is not just a technological problem, it requires an understanding of the behavior of people toward cyber security. Researchers have created many interventions to promote behavioral change against phishing attacks. However, these interventions are not effective for all individuals. Consequently, this research aims to obtain an understanding of individuals' behavior toward phishing prevention attacks using the Health Belief Model (HBM). An online questionnaire was conducted from December 23, 2021, to January 21, 2022. The questionnaire included demographic questions as well as questions related to each HBM construct, using a 7-point Likert scale. Before analyzing the results, the Cronbach’s Alpha of each construct was computed and an Exploratory Factor Analysis was conducted to determine the reliability and validity of the questionnaire. Furthermore, ordinal regression analysis and binary regression analysis were performed to test the hypotheses. The results show that perceived severity, perceived barriers, self-efficacy, and perceived importance have a significant influence on the likelihood that an individual will perform phishing attack prevention behavior. These findings can be used to create effective and tailored cybersecurity interventions for individuals.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Programme:Business & IT BSc (56066)
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