Validation and application of the human aspects of information security questionnaire for undergraduates: effects of gender, discipline and grade level

Xiao Shu Xu, Wilson Cheong Hin Hong, Kimberly Kolletar-Zhu, Yun Feng Zhang, Chun Yang Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, information security has gained significant academic attention. The present research sought to examine shifts in undergraduates' Information Security Awareness (ISA) as they advanced in their academic pursuits. Comprising two distinct phases, the initial phase involved adapting the Human Aspects of Information Security Questionnaire (HAIS-Q) to fit the context of Chinese tertiary institutions, a process overseen by five eminent ISA specialists. The adapted instrument was then piloted with 647 students, utilising snowball and criterion sampling techniques. Construct validity was established through exploratory factor analysis, and the questionnaire's reliability was ascertained via Cronbach's alpha. The subsequent primary survey engaged 5148 undergraduates from three Chinese academic institutions to further validate the instrument and investigate its relevance to student cohorts. Distinctively, participants exhibited pronounced proficiency in the Attitude component, yet lagged in Behavioural aspects. Analytical outcomes highlighted discernible interactions between gender, academic progression, and the Knowledge, Attitude, and Behaviour (KAB) facets. Notably, female respondents consistently outperformed their male counterparts. However, a marked decline in ISA cognisance and comportment was observed as students ascended academically. The HAIS-Q stands as a reliable tool for evaluating ISA in tertiary education, offering fresh insights to the scholarly discourse on educational information security.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • HAIS-Q
  • higher education
  • information security awareness
  • knowledge-attitude-behaviour

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