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Home ­sers Cite Laziness For Lax Online Security

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Are users claiming to be lazy about computer security really incompetent?

About 80 percent of respondents to a Victoria University of Wellington survey said they were too lazy to adequately protect their home computers, but a researcher suspects many claim laziness to conceal their lack of knowledge.


A Victoria University of Wellington survey examining why people do not adequately protect their home computers found that about 80 percent of respondents said they were too lazy. However, researcher Nicole Braun also suspects respondents cited laziness to conceal a lack of knowledge, as people would rather be seen as lazy than incompetent.

Previous experience often impacts how confident people are in their ability to protect themselves, Braun notes. For example, people who lost data or money from credit card fraud due to a virus were more confident if they had successfully managed to solve the problem.

Braun identifies five animals that characterize most typical users: mouse, characterized by timidity and low confidence; ostrich, defined by low awareness and ignorance of risks; coyote, who is knowledgeable but willing to take risks if there is a clear payoff; dark horse, who is good at protecting their security but lacks confidence; and cockerel, which is proud of their security knowledge. "My research made it clear that creating a 'one-size fits all' security message isn't effective, as you are dealing with such a range of personality types," Braun says.

From Computerworld New Zealand
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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