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A Behavioural Analysis of Online Privacy and Security

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Abstract

Psychological and sociological factors constrain economic decision-making in many contexts including the online world. Behavioural economics and economic psychology emphasise that people will make mistakes in processing information and in planning for the future; these mistakes will also distort learning processes. Emotions and visceral factors will play a key role - not only a ecting people's actions but also distorting the interactions between information, learning and choices. This will have wide-ranging implications for online behavior and information security management, making people more vulnerable to security/privacy abuses including hacking, spam attacks, phishing, identity theft and online financial exploitation. These vulnerabilities raise crucial policy questions - recently made more pressing in the light of recent phone-hacking scandals in the UK. This paper outlines some of the behavioural factors affecting people's online behaviour and analyses real-world reactions to online fraud using evidence from the British Crime Survey 2009-10.

Suggested Citation

  • Baddeley, M., 2011. "A Behavioural Analysis of Online Privacy and Security," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1147, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1147
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioural economics; information security; online fraud; cognitive bias;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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