Willingness to information security as a function of personality characteristics and threat assessment among adolescents

Dan Bouhnik, Nurit Reich, Noa Aharony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The study focuses on adolescents and the influence the big five great personality traits – extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experiences and conscientiousness – on self-disclosure. These personality traits, combined with the ability to cope with stress, determine the degree of threat felt by an individual towards their information, their evaluation of their personal ability to keep their information secure, and their willingness to secure information. Design/methodology/approach: Five questionnaires relating to the big five personality traits, self-disclosure, cognitive assessment, self-efficacy and IS awareness were distributed among 157 adolescents. Findings: Readiness for IS. Furthermore, the study showed that the more ostentatiousness, agreeable, goal oriented and open the subjects are, the lower they will evaluate the threat to their information. A relationship was also revealed between the subjects' agreeableness, goal orientation and their information threat assessment. It was also found that the more extroverted, agreeable, conscientious and the more inclined to self-disclosure, the higher they evaluate their self-ability to handle threats to their information. Originality/value: For IS behavior to become second nature to adolescents they must first be educated and trained to do so. Knowing what motivates them and, on the other hand, what hinders them, to practice IS can help build training models for teachers which may be adapted according to their personal traits, thus getting the most out of such programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-929
Number of pages18
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Big five personality traits
  • InfoSec behavior
  • Information security
  • Threat assessment


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