In spite of the numerous public advice campaigns and advisories, many individuals still engage in risky behavior that endangers the security of the user’s computer, and thus, the user’s privacy. A lot of research done on human behavior on computer usage identifies specific risky practices that can compromise digital safety and privacy. What is also unfortunate is that most people already understand the security risks and yet still indulge in risky and compromising computer behavior, though most admit it can be sometimes done subconsciously. These behavioral factors include:


Generally, older people are more likely to share passwords compared to younger people. This is because older adults tend to have less knowledge about the details of internet security, even if they are aware of security and privacy. However, younger people tend to share passwords or personal data to older people, especially with members of their family older than they are. This may be because older people have less to share with, but are susceptible to sharing data online. But the danger is still there since data or passwords shared by younger people may now be compromised by older adults.


Most often these people are aware about computer security and privacy, but when they open or stumble upon something new or unknown to them (like an innocent looking e-mail with an attachment), their impulsive whim takes over with little forethought or consideration of the consequences of their actions. Their impulsiveness also reveals that these people are more likely to focus on a short-term goal (opening the e-mail and attachment) rather than the long-term security implications.

Self-monitored control

This term refers to an individual’s belief in controlling his or her own environment. People who have proper self-monitored control have the conviction that events are contingent upon one’s behavior. Those who don’t have proper self-monitored control believe that events don’t depend on their actions, but instead more on luck, chance, or fate. Those with the latter behavior have been found to engage in more risky and compromising behavior towards computer security and privacy. They believe that security and privacy cannot be controlled and that data compromise is more by chance rather than breaking proper online security.

Lack of knowledge on cyber security

In spite of the large number of campaigns and advisories on computer and internet security in order to protect individual and company privacy and data, most people don’t have the proper knowledge on cyber security simply because they tend to ignore reading about it. They are aware of online security but don’t read enough about it. They tend to have the behavior that they know enough to stay safe online, when in fact much of what they do is risky and compromising on their computer and privacy.


No, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it certainly is a behavioral factor that makes people impulsively click or open on anything (unknown e-mails, questionable links, fake websites, etc.) with disastrous results. Curiosity is one of the biggest behavioral factors in the success of phishing scams and malware implants because people just click away out of curiosity without thinking of the long-term repercussions.

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 6:24:53 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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