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Emotions, personality, and psychopathology of cybersecurity breach victims

Emotions, personality, and psychopathology of cybersecurity breach victims

Budimir, S., Fontaine, J., Huijts, N., Haans, A., Loukas, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-3559-5182, Ras, I. and Roesch, E. (2020) Emotions, personality, and psychopathology of cybersecurity breach victims. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 133:110059. ISSN 0022-3999 (Print), 1879-1360 (Online) (doi:

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The increasing adoption of IoT devices in households has the potential to make life easier and more convenient, but it also poses a greater challenge to system security since several IoT devices are not yet adequately protected against cybersecurity breaches. Understanding the psychological impact of cybersecurity breaches from the user’s perspective is relevant to improve the users’ safety and wellbeing when using devices connected to the Internet. The current study, part of a larger research project on the emotional impact of threats to cybersecurity, aims to identify interindividual differences in emotion processes that users experience in scenarios of a cybersecurity breach and anomalous behaviour of IoT devices installed in their homes. A total of 1000 participants from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands reported their emotion processes as a reaction to the cybersecurity breach scenarios involving the smart security camera, by indicating their reactions on the Cybersecurity GRID questionnaire, which consists of 73 items describing emotion processes in cybersecurity breach situations on a 7-point response scale. Additionally, the participants filled in questionnaires about psychopathology, resilience and personality. Principal component analysis applied on emotion process items revealed a three-component structure: GENERAL EMOTION INTENSITY, DO vs ATTACK/WITHDRAW and AFFECT VS APPRAISAL/ACTION TENDENCY. Results, interpretation and implications of inter-individual differences in emotional processes between ambiguous (unclear whether the IoT device malfunctioned or the third party took control) and unambiguous (evident that a third party took control) cybersecurity breach scenarios in relation to personality, depression, anxiety, aggression and resilience will be presented.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smart homes, cyber security, psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Internet of Things and Security Research Centre (ISEC)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 10:19

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