Risk Awareness, Self-Efficacy, and Social Support Predict Secure Smartphone Usage

Guangyu Zhou , Mengke Gou , Yiqun Gan , Ralf Schwarzer


It is widely acknowledged that non-compliance with smartphone security behaviors is widespread and may cause severe harm to people and devices. In addition to device-based security issues, there are psychological factors involved in these behaviors such as self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support. The present study examines associations of these three factors with smartphone security behaviors and explores possible mechanisms among these variables. In a longitudinal survey with 192 Chinese college students (73.4% women, mean age 24.46 years, SD = 5.15), self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support were assessed with psychometric scales at two points in time, 2 weeks apart. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed with follow-up smartphone security behaviors as the dependent variable, controlling for baseline values and demographic and IT-related covariates. Main effects of self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support on smartphone security behaviors were identified. Moreover, a triple interaction among the three predictors emerged in a synergistic way, indicating that their combination yielded more favorable levels of secure smartphone use. The total model accounted for 50% of the behavioral variance, with all covariates included, and the triple interaction among self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support accounted for 2.3% of variance. Results document that psychological factors are involved in smartphone security behaviors beyond demographic and IT-related ovariates. Interventions could be designed to improve smartphone security behaviors not only by developing privacy-enhancing technologies but also by considering psychological factors such as self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support.
Author Guangyu Zhou
Guangyu Zhou,,
, Mengke Gou
Mengke Gou,,
, Yiqun Gan
Yiqun Gan,,
, Ralf Schwarzer (Filia we Wrocławiu / Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu)
Ralf Schwarzer,,
- Wydział Psychologii we Wrocławiu
Journal seriesFrontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.5
Article number1066
Keywords in Englishself-efficacy, risk awareness, social support, smartphone security behaviors, information security
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Risk_tekst.pdf 3.5 MB
PublicationStatementEnglish2020Schwarzer.pdf 215.11 KB
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.03; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.089 (2) - 2017=2.749 (5)
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