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Effects of Fear appeals and point of reference on the persuasiveness of IT security communications

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4 Author(s)
Honglu Du ; Palo Alto Res. Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA ; Heng Xu ; Rosson, M.B. ; Carroll, J.M.

To better understand end users' security compliance behaviors, we designed an experimental study to investigate how fear appeals and point of reference manipulations could influence end users' security behavioral intentions. The findings suggest that fear appeals and point of reference collectively influence users' perceived persuasiveness of the IT security communication messages. Specifically, higher fear messages are generally more persuasive than low fear ones when the messages are self-referenced. However, in other-referenced messages, the levels of fear appeals do not make differences. Further, our results indicate that users regard IT security issues as peripheral for them and it is suggested that personalized IT security communications might have greater potential in successfully persuading end users for security compliance.

Published in:

Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI), 2013 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 June 2013