Cyber security fear appeals: unexpectedly complicated

Karen Renaud*, Marc Dupuis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Cyber security researchers are starting to experiment with fear appeals, with a wide variety of designs and reported efficaciousness. This makes it hard to derive recommendations for designing and deploying these interventions. We thus reviewed the wider fear appeal literature to arrive at a set of guidelines to assist cyber security researchers. Our review revealed a degree of dissent about whether or not fear appeals are indeed helpful and advisable. Our review also revealed a wide range of fear appeal experimental designs, in both cyber and other domains, which confirms the need for some standardized guidelines to inform practice in this respect. We propose a protocol for carrying out fear appeal experiments, and we review a sample of cyber security fear appeal studies, via this lens, to provide a snapshot of the current state of play. We hope the proposed experimental protocol will prove helpful to those who wish to engage in future cyber security fear appeal research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNSPW '19: Proceedings of the New Security Paradigms Workshop
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages42-56
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781450376471
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020
EventNew Security Paradigm Workshop - San Carlos, Costa Rica
Duration: 23 Sep 201926 Sep 2019

Conference

ConferenceNew Security Paradigm Workshop
Abbreviated titleNSPW 2019
CountryCosta Rica
CitySan Carlos
Period23/09/1926/09/19

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Renaud, K., & Dupuis, M. (2020). Cyber security fear appeals: unexpectedly complicated. In NSPW '19: Proceedings of the New Security Paradigms Workshop (pp. 42-56). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3368860.3368864