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Type: Thesis
Title: The Role of Time Pressure, Cue Utilisation, and Information Security Awareness on Phishing Email Susceptibility
Author: Plate, Oliver
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Phishing emails are emails which attempt to solicit sensitive information from unsuspecting users. Phishing represents a major threat to information security. To develop interventions aimed at reducing phishing susceptibility, an understanding of how emails are evaluated to determine their legitimacy, and individual differences that may predict phishing email susceptibility is required. The current study aims to examine the relationship between phishing susceptibility and time pressure, along with individual differences in cue utilisation and information security awareness (ISA). In an online study, 127 participants were randomly assigned to either a 7-second or 15-second time condition and were presented with 60 emails (40 genuine and 20 phishing). Emails were presented one at a time for the duration corresponding with each participant’s time condition. Participants were required to sort each email into one of ten categories. The ‘phishing’ category was considered a hit when chosen following a phishing email, and a false alarm when following a genuine email. Participants also completed an assessment of cue utilisation in the domain of phishing, and the Human Aspects of Information Security Questionnaire (HAIS-Q). Statistical analyses revealed that a higher level of cue utilisation, a shorter email exposure duration and higher ISA resulted in reduced ability to differentiate between phishing and genuine emails. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between cue utilisation and ISA, however, there was no interaction between time pressure and cue utilisation on phishing susceptibility. This study’s outcomes may aid in the development of training and education programs aimed at reducing phishing susceptibility.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
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