2019 Symposium Posters

Posters > 2019

The Effects of Online Anxiety on Cyber-Secure Behavior


Primary Investigator:
Ida Ngambeki

Project Members
Tatyana Tsyganyuk, Sunjae Choi, Subia Ansari, Priyanka Tiwari, Ida Ngambeki
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people do not feel safe online. This feeling of being unsafe online could be the result of one or a combination of several factors e.g. online harassment, fear of being the victim of identity theft or other forms of cybercrime, or anxiety related to not understanding how the technology works and feeling incompetent to use it. Forty percent of Americans have reported being harassed online. In the UK 37% of young women have reported being sexually harassed online. In the US that number rises to 53% of young women. Research from the European Union has found that only 12% of European web users feel safe making online transactions. Studies also suggest that 60-75% of people experience medium to high levels of computer anxiety. However, few studies have examined how safe people feel online, the reasons why they may feel unsafe, and their responses to feeling vulnerable online. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in response to feeling unsafe, individuals may limit their computer usage and online interactions to limit their exposure. Alternatively, they may try to increase their online presence to counter the feeling of vulnerability. Both of these responses may have an impact on their online safety. Limiting computer usage may result in them failing to learn about and therefore engage in cybersecure behavior while behavior such as trying to engage or counter argue with online harassers can also threaten their security online.