Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Examining privacy settings on online social networks: a protection motivation perspective

an article by Tziporah Stern and Nanda Kumar (City University of New York, USA) published in International Journal of Electronic Business Volume 13 Number 2/3 )(2017)


The easy accessibility of information on online social networks (OSN) such as Facebook, has boosted the significance of ‘privacy settings’ as a front-line of defence against information misuse.

In this study a model is built based on the intersection of protection motivation theory (PMT), social exchange theory (SET), and privacy risk research to examine behaviour through both the use of privacy settings (adaptive/desirable behaviour) and the non-use of privacy settings (measuring maladaptive coping response). To validate the model a survey is conducted.

Strong support was found for the mediating role played by PMT variables-cost, benefits, risk, and efficacy – on both maladaptive coping and adaptive behaviour. This research successfully applies PMT in the information privacy context and operationalises adaptive behaviour in a unique, but thus far unexplored, manner. It also identifies important risk antecedents to the PMT model which help further explain privacy on OSN.

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