Investigating Tertiary Students’ Perceptions on Internet Security

Sithira Vadivel, Yok-Yen Nguwi


Internet security threats have grown from just simple viruses to various forms of computer hacking, scams, impersonation, cyber bullying, and spyware. The Internet has great influence on most people. It has profound influence and one can spend endless hours on internet activities. In particular, youth engage in more online activities than any other age group. Excessive internet usage is an emerging threat that has negative impacts on these youth; hence it is vital to investigate youths' online behavior. This work studies tertiary students’ risk awareness, and provides some findings that allow us to understand their knowledge on risks and their behavior towards online activities. It reveals several important online issues amongst tertiary students; Firstly, the lack of online security awareness; second, a lack of awareness and information about the dangers of rootkits, internet cookies and spyware; thirdly, female students are more unflinching than male students when commenting on social networking sites; fourthly, students are cautious only when obvious security warnings are present; and finally, their usage of internet hotspots is common without fully understanding its associated danger. These findings enable us to recommend types of internet security habits and safety practices that students should adopt in future when they are exposed to online activities. A more holistic approach was considered which aims to minimize any future risks and dangers with online activities involving students.


Internet; Threat; Rootkits; Internet cookies; Spyware


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