University of Twente Student Theses


The Influence of Knowledge and Self-efficacy on the Intention to and Actual Use of Strong Passwords

Olden, Hannah (2022) The Influence of Knowledge and Self-efficacy on the Intention to and Actual Use of Strong Passwords.

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Abstract:In this digital age, cybersecurity is an important concern for all internet users. According to preceding research, previous password knowledge and self-efficacy are important for whether people intend to and actually behave safely online. In this two-part online study, health behaviour models were used to infer about the interaction effect of self-efficacy and knowledge on the intention to and use of strong passwords. In the first part, participants were asked about their previous password knowledge, their levels of self-efficacy, risk-taking and their behavioural intention. Participants were randomly allocated to a control condition, a high or a low self-efficacy condition in which they had to construct three passwords. In the follow-up study, participants were asked about their knowledge, self-efficacy and their security behaviour. While there was no significant influence of the manipulations on participants´ level of self-efficacy, there were also no significant effects of self-efficacy on its own or in combination with knowledge on intention and actual behaviour. Previous knowledge influenced the intention to and actual use of strong passwords. Further, it was found that intention directly increases actual behaviour. This study emphasizes the need for more research into the connection between knowledge and self-efficacy concerning the use of strong passwords.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Keywords:cybersecurity, strong passwords, self-efficacy, knowledge, behavioural intention, behaviour
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