18 September 2019

Older adults are increasingly vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks and scams. Yet we know relatively little about their understanding of cybersecurity, their information-seeking behaviours, and their trusted sources of information and advice in this domain. We conducted 22 semi-structured interviews with community-dwelling older adults in order to explore their cybersecurity information seeking behaviours. Following a thematic analysis of these interviews, we developed a cybersecurity information access framework that highlights shortcomings in older adults’ choice of information resources. Specifically, we find that older users prioritise social resources based on availability, rather than cybersecurity expertise, and that they avoid using the Internet for cybersecurity information searches despite using it for other domains. Finally, we discuss the design of cybersecurity information dissemination strategies for older users, incorporating favoured sources such as TV adverts and radio programming.

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