CCE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Computing and Engineering


Ling Wang

Committee Member

Inkyoung Hur

Committee Member

Marlon Clarke


As individuals have become more dependent on mobile devices to communicate, to seek information, and to conduct business, their susceptibility to various threats to information security has also increased. Research has consistently shown that a user’s intention is a significant antecedent of information security behavior. Although research on user’s intention has expanded in the last few years, not enough is known about how cognitive factors and personality traits impact the adoption and use of mobile device security technologies.

The purpose of this research was to empirically investigate the influence of cognitive factors and personality traits on mobile device user’s intention in regard to mobile device security technologies. A conceptual model was developed by combining constructs from both the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and the Big Five Factor Personality Traits. The data was collected using a web-based survey according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. Respondents were limited to adults 18 years or older who have been using their mobile devices to access the internet for at least one year. The Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyze the data gathered from a total of 356 responses received.

The findings of this study show that perceived threat severity, perceived threat susceptibility, perceived response costs, response efficacy, and mobile self-efficacy have a significant positive effect on user’s intention. In particular, mobile self-efficacy had the strongest effect on the intention to use mobile device security technologies. Most of the personality traits factors were not found significant, except for conscientiousness. The user’s intention to use mobile device security technologies was found to have a significant effect on the actual usage of mobile device security technologies. Hence, the results support the suitability of the PMT and personality factors in the mobile device security technologies context. This study has contributed to information security research by providing empirical results on factors that influence the use of mobile device security technologies.

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