Three essays on behavioral aspects of information systems: Issues of information assurance and online privacy
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In the information age, it is important to investigate information systems in relationship to society, in general, and various user groups, in particular. Since information technology requires interactions between people and their social structure, research in information system usage behavior needs to be based on a deep understanding of the interrelation between the technology and the social environment of the user. This dissertation adopts a socio-technical approach in order to better explore the role of information technology in the important research issues of online privacy and information assurance. This dissertation consists of three essays. The first essay investigates factors that affect the career decisions of cyber security scholars. In the recent past, cyber security has become a critical area in the Information Technology (IT) field, and the demand for such professionals has been increasing tremendously. However, there is a shortage of qualified personnel, which is a factor that contributes greatly to the society's vulnerability to various cyber threats. To date, there is no academic extent research regarding the cyber security workforce and their career decisions. Based on the theories of planned behavior and self-efficacy, our study articulates a model to explain career selection behavior in the cyber security field. To provide validity for the proposed conceptual framework, we undertook a comprehensive empirical investigation of Scholarship for Service (SFS) Scholars who are funded by the National Science Foundation and who are studying information assurance and computer security in universities. The results of this research have implications for retaining a qualified workforce in the computer and information security fields. The second essay explores internet users' online privacy protection behavior. Information security and privacy on the Internet are critical issues in our society. In this research, factors that influence internet users' private information sharing behavior were examined. Based on a survey of two of the most vulnerable groups on the web, 285 preand early teens, this essay provides a research framework that explains in the private information sharing behavior of Internet users. According to our study results, Internet users' information privacy behaviors are affected by two significant factors: the perceived importance of information privacy and information privacy self-efficacy. It was also found that users' belief in the value of online information privacy and information privacy protection behavior varies by gender. Our research findings indicate that educational opportunities regarding Internet privacy and computer security as well as concerns from other reference groups (e.g. peers, teachers, and parents) play an important role in positively affecting Internet users' protective behavior toward online privacy. The third essay investigates knowledge sharing in the context of blogs. In the information age, web 2.0 technology is receiving growing attention as an innovative way to share information and knowledge. This study articulates a model, which enables the understanding of bloggers' knowledge sharing practices. It identifies and describes the factors affecting their knowledge sharing behavior in online social networks. The analysis of 446 surveys indicates that bloggers' trust, strength of social ties and reciprocity all have a positive impact on their knowledge sharing practices. Their online information privacy concerns, on the other hand, have a negative impact on their knowledge sharing behavior. More importantly, the amount of impact for each factor in knowledge sharing behavior varies by gender1 . The research results contribute toward an understanding of the successful deployment of web 2.0 technologies as knowledge management systems and provide useful insights into understanding bloggers' knowledge sharing practices in online communities. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT] Keywords: Blog; Cyber security; Cyber security careers; Gender difference; Information privacy anxiety; Information privacy concerns; Information assurance; Knowledge sharing; Online information privacy; Privacy concerns; Privacy protection behavior; Protection motivation theory; Self-efficacy; Social cognitive theory; Stereo type of cyber security career; Theory of planed behavior (TPB); Trust; Usefulness of cyber security education 1 In this research, gender and sex are used interchangeably.