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Mobile Users’ Susceptibility to Phishing Attacks

August 2020 Presentation
Ley Sylvester (Blackbaud)

This presentation shows how user behavior impacts the phishing landscape and how their perception of threats affects their motivation to avoid phishing attack threats.





Mobile device technology is one of the fastest growing, most widely used sectors of the diversifying technology market. Mobile devices are increasingly used to exchange personal information (e.g., mobile banking, email, chatting, and shopping), which creates a potential information security threat. While individual behaviors affect this vulnerability to security threats, more research needs to be done on what constitutes and influences threat avoidance behaviors. This study assessed factors that influenced threat avoidance behaviors of mobile device users related to phishing attacks. It tests the hypothesis that mobile device users’ perception of threat can reduce their susceptibility to phishing attacks. The study demonstrates that mobile device users feel threatened if they perceive that the severity of an attack will affect them; this in turn affects their motivation to avoid phishing attacks. Consumer perceptions of threat increased if they perceived that the consequences of the threat to their mobile device would be severe.