Exploring the factors that influence the cybersecurity behaviors of young adults

Publication Name

Computers in Human Behavior


Young adults aged between 18 and 30 are likely to encounter increasing cyber threats. Understanding the cybersecurity behaviors of young adults, and identifying the measures and factors that can help reduce cyber threats is thus crucial. Since the existing studies have not sufficiently explored these factors, this study adopted a socio-behavioral perspective. It employed the primary constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) with other factors, including perceived awareness and knowledge of cyber threats, to predict young adults' behavioral intent to practice cybersecurity behaviors. Data were collected from a random sample of 1581 young adults studying at Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) colleges in Saudi Arabia through an online survey and were analyzed using the least-squares partial structural equation modeling (SEM). The results revealed that attitude (ATT), subjective norm (SN), and perceived behavioral control (PBC) strongly influenced young adults’ intentions to practice cybersecurity behavior (IPC). Also important for IPC was the perceived awareness of the consequences of the risks of cyber threats and the need for cybersecurity behavior (PCST). Moreover, while PCST and IPC were directly related to practicing cybersecurity behaviors, PBC was not. Future studies may benefit from examining cultural, and socio-demographic aspects that may influence CSB.

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