CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


College of Engineering and Computing


James Parrish

Committee Member

James Smith

Committee Member

Bennet Hammer


Insider threat by employees in organizations is a problematic issue in today’s fast-paced, internet-driven society. Gone are the days when securing the perimeter of one’s network protected their business. Security threats are now mobile, and employees have the ability to share sensitive business data with hundreds of people instantaneously from mobile devices. While prior research has addressed social networking topics such as trust in relation to information systems, the use of social networking sites, social networking security, and social networking sharing, there is a lack of research in the mindfulness of users who spill sensitive data contained within images posted on social networking sites (SNS). The author seeks to provide an understanding of how non-malicious spillage through images relates to the mindfulness of employees, who are also deemed insiders. Specifically, it explores the relationships between the following variables: mindfulness, proprietary information spillage, and spillage of personally identifiable information (PII). A quasi-experimental study was designed, which was correlational in nature. Individuals were the unit of analysis. A sample population of business managers with SNS accounts were studied. A series of video vignettes were used to measure mindfulness. Surveys were used as a tool to collect and analyze data. There was a positive correlation between non-malicious spillage of sensitive business, both personally identifiable information and proprietary data, and a lack of mindfulness.