Internet security: Who is leaving the ‘virtual door’ open and why?

Daniel M. Downs, Ilir Ademaj, Amie M Schuck


The purpose of the present paper is to study Chicago residents’ knowledge about Internet security and their utilization of prevention and detection tools. The results from hierarchical linear models suggest that there are significant gender, race, age, and community differences in knowledge about firewalls, spyware, phishing and data encryption, as well as the utilization of prevention and detection tools such as anti-virus programs, pop-up blockers and parental control software. Further, diffusion of innovation theory and utopian and dystopian perspectives toward technology help to explain some, but not all, of the variation in peoples’ knowledge about Internet threats and their use of security measures. These findings should help experts identify those people that may be more susceptible to cyber victimization, and highlight the importance of users’ behavior in the realm of Internet security.


Internet Security; cyber crime

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