Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Information Assurance and Cyber Security

Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions of Information Assurance and Cyber Security

DOI: 10.4018/jicte.2012040108
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This study was designed to compare pre-service teachers’ attitudes to those of general computer end-users on taking proactive measures to prevent cyber crime. Nineteen pre-service teachers, enrolled in a three-credit technology course in 2009, completed a survey instrument created by the researchers to analyze perceptions of Information Assurance (IA) and cyber security. The findings indicated a lack of best practices in IA that was no different from that of general computer end-users to protect personal electronic information.
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Theoretical Framework

  • 1.

    What is the general end-user’s attitude toward cyber security?

General computer end-users are not aware of how easy it is for a hacker to gain access to their electronic information and how they can become victims of cyber crime as a result. According to Featherstone (2009), hacking, as a data-mining culture, generally undermines security systems of individuals and organizations alike by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in software, operating systems, Internet browsers, and communication accessories by altering information to make them perform differently than they were intended.

Poor security is the primary reason why hackers are able to penetrate safeguards as well as unguarded information from computers and networks. Hackers steal information by identifying easy targets, having physical access, and evading intrusion detection systems that contain sensitive electronic information (Smith, 2009). Further, even where security structures such as a virtual private network (VPN) or a two-factor authentication exists, poor security practices can compromise such preventive measures.

Lack of good confidentiality protocol is another reason why computer end-users become easy targets for cyber crime (Adams & Sasse, 1999). Adams and Sasse explain that poor password generation and protection alone can make any system vulnerable to hacking. For example, end users generally prefer human-generated passwords to system-generated ones because the former are easy to remember, and therefore convenient; although they are also easier to crack (Adams & Sasse, 1999).

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