As per researchers, when it comes to keeping online information safe from hackers and other criminals, it’s up to the individual user to keep his or her data secure.
Unfortunately, many Internet users don’t take that responsibility seriously, thinking that’s the job of the Internet provider or even the company that manufactured their computer.
Michigan State University’s Saleem Alhabash said that the end-user is often the “weakest link” in the Internet safety chain.
The team’s conclusion is that the Internet users have to take personal responsibility for their safety and security, which includes taking the necessary steps to learn how it can be done.
Another problem is many people are leery of the technology and feel they don’t have the know-how to enact safety features.
Lead author Ruth Shillair said that those who said they didn’t know much about online safety were willing to learn and be more careful and many of those who said they knew a lot about online safety actually had poor safety habits, taking needless risks.
People need to realize, the researchers said, that their actions, or inactions, can affect more than just themselves but the entire corporation or institution for which they work.
Organizations can help by providing the proper training for its staff. This includes offering employees what they call “vicarious” learning experiences.
The study is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.