Security of Personal Data in Cyberspace in the Opinion of Students of the University of Udine
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Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature, Comunicazione, Formazione e Società
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Publication date: 2024-05-09
Cybersecurity and Law 2024;11(1):227-247
The escalating concerns surrounding personal data security in cyberspace necessitate a comprehensive examination of user awareness, attitudes, and behaviours. This study, conducted among University of Udine students, delves into the multifaceted dimensions of personal data security, exploring aspects such as perceptions and behaviours related to privacy, network security, and legal compliance. The research objectives involve assessing respondents’ awareness of data transfer on the network, their general concerns about cyber risks, and the coherence between awareness, concern, and actual online behaviour. A convenience sample of 518 predominantly young respondents was gathered through an online questionnaire. Results reveal a noteworthy disparity between declared awareness and actual concern, leading to a „privacy paradox”. While respondents express awareness of data transfer, their specific concern is limited, predominantly focusing on commercial aspects rather than acknowledging broader cybersecurity threats. This discordance extends to online behaviour and the predominant use of devices such as smartphones, which are simultaneously the most used by respondents but also perceived to have the greatest data loss and the least possibility of implementing data protection actions. The findings underscore the critical need for ongoing cybersecurity education, particularly targeting younger populations, to bridge the gap between theoretical awareness and practical implementation of secure online practices. This study prompts further investigation into diverse cultural contexts, proposing a shared model for technological education across European societies to foster secure behaviours in the digital landscape
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