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The African Journal of Information and Communication

On-line version ISSN 2077-7213
Print version ISSN 2077-7205

Abstract

CHANDARMAN, Rajesh  and  VAN NIEKERK, Brett. Students' cybersecurity awareness at a private tertiary educational institution. AJIC [online]. 2017, vol.20, pp.133-155. ISSN 2077-7213.  http://dx.doi.org/10.23962/10539/23572.

Internet-based attacks have become prevalent and are expected to increase as technology ubiquity increases. Consequently, cybersecurity has emerged as an essential concept in everyday life. Cybersecurity awareness (CSA) is a key defence in the protection of people and systems. The research presented in this article aimed to assess the levels of CSA among students at a private tertiary education institution in South Africa. A questionnaire tested students in terms of four variables: cybersecurity knowledge; self-perception of cybersecurity skills, actual cybersecurity skills and behaviour; and cybersecurity attitudes. The responses revealed several misalignments, including instances of "cognitive dissonance" between variables, which make the students potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The findings demonstrate the need for targeted CSA campaigns that address the specific weaknesses of particular populations of users.

Keywords : cybersecurity awareness (CSA); password management; cyberbullying; phishing; malware; identity theft; pirated content.

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