Multiple Sources for Security: Seeking Online Safety Information and their Influence on Coping Self-efficacy and Protection Behavior Habits

Shillair, Ruth
Meng, Jingbo
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Internet users face threats of increasing complexity and severity. To protect themselves they rely on sources for online safety information. These sources may either build up, or undermine, the coping self-efficacy and motivation needed to protect oneself. A survey of 800 subjects asked about which sources they relied on for information about online safety: media, work, school, friends and family, and specialized web sites. Individuals who said they had no comprehensive source for information reported the lowest levels of both coping self-efficacy (b= -0.609, p< 0.001) and protection habit strength (b= -0.900, p< 0.001). On the other hand, those who had an affiliation of school, work and specialized web sites had a positive relationship with both coping self-efficacy (b= 0.517, p< 0.05) and protection habit strength (b= 0.692, p< 0.05). Results suggest that some information affiliation networks are correlated with higher coping self-efficacy and stronger protection habits.
Coping self-efficacy, Cybersecurity, Online Safety, Protection Motivation Theory, Source networks of information
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