Social engineering and the disclosure of personal identifiable information: Examining the relationship and moderating factors using a population-based survey experiment
van de Kleij, R.
van't Hoff—De Goede, S.
van de Weijer, S.
People tend to disclose personal identifiable information (PII) that could be used by cybercriminals against them. Often persuasion techniques are used by cybercriminals to trick people to disclose PII. This research investigates whether people can be made less susceptible to persuasion by reciprocation (i.e., making people feel obligated to return a favor) and authority, particularly in regard to whether information security knowledge and positive affect moderate the relation between susceptibility to persuasion and disclosing PII. Data are used from a population-based survey experiment that measured the actual disclosure of PII in an experimental setting (N=2426). The results demonstrate a persuasion–disclosure link, indicating that people disclose more PII when persuaded by reciprocation, but not by authority. Knowledge of information security was also found to relate to disclosure. People disclosed less PII when they possessed more knowledge of information security. Positive affect was not related to the disclosure of PII. And contrary to expectations, no moderating effects were found of information security knowledge nor positive affect on the persuasion–disclosure link. Possible explanations are discussed, as well as limitations and future research directions
To reference this document use:
Journal of Criminology, Epub 1-16