CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Engineering and Computing


Ling Wang

Committee Member

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Inkyoung Hur


data breach, mobile device security, mobile device user, protection motivation theory, user information security behavior


User information security behavior has been an area of growing demand in information systems (IS) research. Unfortunately, most of the previous research done in user information security behavior have been in broad contexts, therefore creating a gap in the literature of similar research that focuses on specific emerging technologies and trends. With the growing reliance on mobile devices to increase the flexibility, speed and efficiency in how we work, communicate, shop, seek information and entertain ourselves, it is obvious that these devices have become data warehouses and platform for data in transit.

This study was an empirical and quantitative study that gathered data leveraging a web-survey. Prior to conducting the survey for the main data collection, a Delphi study and pilot study were conducted. Convenience sampling was the category of nonprobability sampling design used to gather data. The 7-Point Likert Scale was used on all survey items. Pre-analysis data screening was conducted prior to data analysis. The Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyze the data gathered from a total of 390 responses received.

The results of this study showed that perceived threat severity has a negative effect on protection motivation, while perceived threat susceptibility has a positive effect on protection motivation. Contrarily, the results from this study did not show that perceived response cost influences protection motivation. Response efficacy and mobile self-efficacy had a significant positive influence on protection motivation. Mobile device security usage showed to be significantly influenced positively by protection motivation. This study brings additional insight and theoretical implications to the existing literature. The findings reveal the PMT’s capacity to predict user behavior based on threat and coping appraisals within the context of mobile device security usage. Additionally, the extension of the PMT for the research model of this study implies that mobile devices users also can take recommended responses to protect their devices from security threats.