Observations on genderwise differences among university students in information security awareness

Ali Farooq, Johanna Isoaho, Seppo Virtanen, Jouni Isoaho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine genderwise differences in information security awareness (ISA) among university students. 614 usable responses were collected using survey from the students of eight different disciplines in a university. ISA is considered as combination of knowledge and behavior, and called computed ISA. Knowledge and behavior is assessed using vocabulary test and scenario based questions, whereas perceived ISA (PISA) is measured on 5-point Liker type question. The application of t-test and Cohen's d values show that both the genders differ significantly from each other in their Knowledge, Behavior, computed ISA and PISA. In comparison to female students, male students are found better in terms of aforementioned variables. The study also shows that unlike male students, female students prefer to utilize their social circle to accumulate information security knowledge. Moreover, the male students prefer to learn security related issues by self-exploration, whereas, the female students prefer formal educational methods for similar learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Information Security and Privacy (IJISP)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015


  • information security awareness
  • gender differences
  • university students


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