The impact of users' characteristics on their ability to detect phishing emails

Alseadoon, Ibrahim Mohammed A. (2014) The impact of users' characteristics on their ability to detect phishing emails. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


We investigate how email users' characteristics influence their response to phishing emails. A user generally goes through three stages of behaviour upon receiving a phishing email: suspicion of the legitimacy of the email, confirmation of its legitimacy and response by either performing the action requested in the phishing email or not. Using a mixed method approach combining experiments, surveys and semi-structured interviews, we found that a user's behaviour at each stage varies with their personal characteristics such as personality traits and ability to perceive information in an email beyond its content. We found, for example, that users who are submissive, extraverted or open tend to be less suspicious of phishing emails while users who can identify cues such as inconsistent IP address, can avoid falling victim to phishing emails. Our findings enable us to draw practical implications for educating and potentially reducing the incidence of phishing emails victimisation.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 72873
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Chan, Taizan, Foo, Ernest, & Gonzalez Nieto, Juan
Keywords: Phishing emails, Detection, Deception, Individual factors, emails, Phishing, users' behaviour, users' characteristics
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 09 Jul 2014 05:34
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 17:01

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