Discovering Computer Security Awareness Levels Among U.S. and Chinese Computer Users

Discovering Computer Security Awareness Levels Among U.S. and Chinese Computer Users

Mark B. Schmidt (St. Cloud State University, USA), Allen C. Johnston (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA), Kirk P. Arnett (Mississippi State University, USA), Jim Q. Chen (St. Cloud State University, USA) and Suicheng Li (Xi’an University of Technology, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-920-5.ch005
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Abstract

Despite the recent increased attention afforded malware by the popular press, there appears to be a dearth in user awareness and understanding of certain aspects of the security paradigm. This chapter presents a comparison of user awareness levels of rootkits, spyware, and viruses between U.S. and Chinese users. The results of a survey of 210 U.S. respondents and 278 Chinese respondents indicate that respondents’ awareness and knowledge of rootkits is well below that of spyware and viruses. Data analysis further reveals that there are significant differences in Chinese and U.S. user perceptions with regard to spyware and computer viruses. However, there is no difference in cross-cultural awareness with regard to rootkits. Due to the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, rootkits and other malware do not yield at transnational borders. An important step to mitigate the threats posed by malware such as rootkits is to raise awareness levels of users worldwide.

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