Investigating Teenagers’ Ability to Detect Phishing Messages

Nicholson, James, Javed, Yousra, Dixon, Matt, Coventry, Lynne, Dele-Ajayi, Opeyemi and Anderson, Philip (2020) Investigating Teenagers’ Ability to Detect Phishing Messages. EuroUSEC 2020: The 5th European Workshop on Usable Security. (In Press)

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Abstract

Young people are increasingly becoming responsible for the security of their devices, yet do not appear to receive formal instruction on how to protect themselves online. In this paper, we investigate the phish detection performance of teenagers while exploring how their familiarity with a service affects their overall performance in identifying phishing messages. Our study with 83 teenagers finds that teenagers were poor at distinguishing between genuine and phishing messages in an experimental task, yet performance was not affected by the familiarity of the service. However, our participants exhibited riskier behavior when making decisions on unfamiliar messages, suggesting that this is an area for further exploration. We discuss the implications of the poor phishing performance for teenagers and explore possible avenues to improve their awareness of these attacks, e.g. through embedding training content within the school curriculum.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social engineering, teenagers, cybersecurity, social factors, phishing
Subjects: C800 Psychology
G400 Computer Science
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2020 03:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43530

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