31 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2014 Last revised: 3 Oct 2014
Date Written: January 3, 2014
Internet users face large numbers of security warnings, which they mostly ignore. To improve risk communication, warnings must be fewer but better. We report an experiment on whether compliance can be increased by using some of the social-psychological techniques the scammers themselves use, namely appeal to authority, social compliance, concrete threats and vague threats. We also investigated whether users turned off browser malware warnings (or would have, had they known how).
Keywords: malware, persuasion, human computer interaction, psychology
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Modic, David and Anderson, Ross J., Reading this May Harm Your Computer: The Psychology of Malware Warnings (January 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2374379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2374379