Teaching consumers security habits

Randy Abrams Independent researcher

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Consumer security education attempts to date have had limited success. The author maintains that the reason for this has more to do with how teaching is generally performed than the inability of the students to grasp and retain content. Some tests have determined that certain techniques result in better information comprehension and retention. Marketing professionals have long understood how to exploit the 'habit loop' in order to manipulate consumer behaviour. The creation and manipulation of habits has been leveraged in areas such as sports, medicine, and even social policy. Relatively recent advances in neuroimaging have allowed us to better understand how the brain forms new habits and changes existing habits.

This presentation will examine common mistakes that users make and attempt to determine if there are behaviours, or perhaps components of behaviours that can be changed from uneducated guesswork to habitually correct responses. Examples of educational approaches will be analysed in order to assess which components of a habit loop they may be relevant to so as to better design security education in the future.


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