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Many home computer users "too lazy" to protect online security

14 April 2014

Nicole Braun

Nicole Braun's PhD research explores home user cybersecurity behaviours

Around 80 percent of home computer users who admit that they don’t take measures to protect their online security cite laziness as the reason, a PhD study from Victoria Business School has found.

Nicole Braun, who will be graduating in May with a PhD in Information Systems, set out to understand why many home users do not adequately protect themselves online, despite extensive media coverage about the risks.

"At home there’s no punishment for not taking measures to protect yourself so it really comes down to individual initiative," she says.

"I was surprised that so many people said they were too lazy to deal with the issue, although I suspect sometimes this was to conceal a lack of knowledge, as people prefer to be seen as lazy rather than incompetent. But others simply weren’t concerned about their own cybersecurity."

Nicole found that people's confidence levels determine how they act.

"Some people are blindly trusting of every website they come across, without considering that legitimate websites can get hacked, so don't feel the need to take preventative measures.

"Then there are the people who think they will be safe from all harm as long as they use anti-virus software. However, we’re seeing more and more that just using anti-virus software isn’t enough."

People's previous experience was found to impact on how confident they felt in their ability to protect themselves. For instance, people who had experienced a virus on their computer that had either made them lose data or money from credit card fraud were more confident if they had managed to solve the problem.

"On the other hand, people who'd never experienced any issues often had the attitude that if it hadn’t happened to them there was nothing to worry about."

Reliance on others was also found to be common, particularly women who relied on their husbands to protect them, or older users who were reliant on their children.

"It takes time to find out what steps can be taken to protect yourself, so many of these people were happy to leave the problem in someone else’s hands."

In her research, Nicole identified five animals that characterise the most typical security users, and suggests the best way of reaching each group.

They are the: mouse (timid, low confidence), ostrich (low awareness, ignores the risks), coyote (knowledgeable but willing to take risks if the payoff is there), dark horse (good at protecting their security but lack confidence) and cockerel (proud of their security knowledge).

"My research made it clear that creating a 'one size fits all' security message isn't effective, as you are dealing with such a range of personality types. I'd like to see more tailored messages getting out there."

Nicole's research was supervised by Dr Val Hooper and Dr Dan Dorner, both in the School of Information Management.

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Best Paper Award to Dr Gillian Oliver

10 April 2014

Gillian Oliver

Dr Gillian Oliver has won the Records Management Journal Award for the Outstanding Paper of 2013 for her paper "Recordkeeping informatics: re-figuring a discipline in crisis with a single minded approach".

The paper highlights the widespread crisis facing the archives and records management professions, and proposes recordkeeping informatics, a single minded disciplinary approach, as a way forward.

The paper was co-authored by Frank Upward (Monash University), Barbara Reed (Recordkeeping Innovation Pty Ltd) and Joanne Evans (Monash University).

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Dr Sydney Shep Awarded National Teaching and Learning Initiative Grant

31 March 2014

Dr Sydney Shep has been awarded one of the eight national Teaching and Learning Research Initiative grants for her project:

Moving beyond the threshold: Investigating digital literacies and historical thinking in New Zealand universities

Principal Investigator: Dr Sydney Shep
Partnerships: Victoria University of Wellington and established, as well as new and early, career teacher-researchers across a range of history-informed disciplines

The aim of this project is to understand how university students and teachers use digital media to support the acquisition and retention of disciplinary threshold concepts for transformative learning and improved student outcomes in history-informed subjects. A New Zealand-wide environmental survey, a massive online open course (MOOC)-enabled workshop series, and the development, implementation and evaluation of digitally-mediated coursework will provide research evidence to enhance teaching practice and benefit future-oriented student learning. Innovative features include the creation of a digital history portal for communication, project management, and dissemination, plus the use of self-reflective e-portfolios. Mentoring junior teacher-researchers who are at the forefront of digital adoption and e-pedagogy is a priority.

Funding allocation: $200,000 over two years.

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Simon Park Awarded Queen's Service Medal

24 March 2014

We are very proud to announce that Simon Park, Undergraduate Programme Manager, has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for Services to the Korean community and education. The Queen's Service Medal recognises voluntary service to the community and elected or appointed public office. Simon received the Medal at the investiture which took place on 18 March 2014.

Simon Park Receiving Queen's Service Medal

Simon Park receiving the Queen's Service Medal from Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand.

Simon was appointed the inaugural Chairman of the New Zealand Korean School Trust in 2012 which he helped to establish.

He played an integral role in negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between Keimyung University, South Korea and Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) for cooperation and cross-accreditation, which was finalised in May 2012.

He has been the Undergraduate Programme Manager at the School of Information Management, VUW since 2006 and is the School’s Maori and Pacifica Student Liaison Officer.

Simon has been a Justice of the Peace (JP) for the last six years; he is one of the youngest JPs in NZ and the only Korean JP in Wellington. He has provided JP services to more than 600 people in the VUW staff/student community and offers his services at the Johnsonville CAB on Saturdays. He also led an initiative to establish the JP Service Centre at Pipitea Campus, VUW, allowing students easier access to various JP services.

In 2012 Simon was appointed an advisor to South Korea’s President, Park Geun-hye, as a member of the National Unification Advisory Council in Korea.

Simon was appointed as a future leader to represent the Korean community in NZ and attended the 16th Future Leaders Conference in Seoul, Korea, in October 2013. He made a plenary speech on behalf of attendees from all over the world. He had interviews with TV, radio and printed media and used these opportunities to actively promote NZ as a destination for safe and effective education.

Simon has helped Korean immigrants adapt and integrate into NZ culture and society. He has provided interpreting services to the Korean community as a professional interpreter and has been a mentor for the Kimchi Club whose members are Korean immigrants.

In November 2013 Simon received a Kiwibank Local Hero Award and was a semi-finalist under this category for the 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

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Announcing Two Books

11 March 2014

The School of Information Mangement is very proud to announce the publication of two books by two of our staff members, Gillian Oliver and Tony Hooper.

A book launch was hosted by the School in Gillian and Tony's honour on 28 February 2014 and was attended by academics and professionals from the Information sector.

A very big congratulations to both Gillian and Tony.

Gillian Oliver & Tony Hooper

Records Management and Information Culture: Tackling the people problem

Gillian Oliver and Fiorella Foscarini
London: Facet, 2014

This book explores organisational information culture, the values and attitudes that people bring to information management, and how this impacts on recordkeeping practice. It provides details of an innovative framework for analysing information culture, including guidelines for assessment together with suggestions for next steps, the strategies and actions to influence behavioural change. For more information, click here.

Using MIS, 2nd Edition

David Kroenke and Tony Hooper
Auckland: Pearson, 2013

Using MIS is used in several New Zealand universities as a prescribed text for INFO 101 courses. It contains new and updated case studies reflective of the New Zealand business and management environment. These include studies of The Hobbit: an unexpected journey, New Zealand Post and Novopay. New personality profiles of New Zealand IT professionals including Victoria Ransom of Google and Kathy Gruzas of Weta Digital bring a greater emphasis on career opportunities in the New Zealand work environment. A new series of ethical studies has been included that relates to contemporary New Zealand situations such as the Novopay controversy, Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload, and Cyberbullying. The global perspective on management information systems is emphasised in modules entitled “Global: the new normal”. The chapter on software development and project management has been completely revised in response to requests from academics who use the book as a teaching base. Additional supplementary resources to assist educators have been developed by the School of Information Management Undergraduate Programme Manager, Simon Park and are available to registered and validated lecturers. The book is available from Vic Books.

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New iConferencing Platform: Saba

10 March 2014

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new iConferencing platform for Information Studies classes. From the start of Trimester 1, 2014 we will begin using a new system (Saba). This is good news because Saba is compatible with a wider range of devices than the previous software, such as Macs.

The mode of access for this new technology is a little different to the previous system. A URL will be posted to Blackboard each week which will take you to your classroom. If you need help using Blackboard please contact Kathryn Oxborrow (Senior Tutor). 

If you are having problems running Saba, please get in touch:

Freephone: 0800 11 62 99 (Choose iConferencing support or enter extension 5050)


Queries will be received by IT Services, who will resolve your query immediately if possible, and if not, will pass the issue on to our specialist support staff who will get in touch with you to resolve it. 

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Young Adults Shown to Behave Differently on Facebook

24 February 2014

Many young adults show more cruelty on Facebook than they do in everyday life, a Victoria Business School study has found.

Dr Val Hooper, an associate professor and Head of Victoria’s School of Information Management, guided student research, in which young people aged between 18 and 20 were interviewed to determine what behaviour they regarded as acceptable and unacceptable in social networking.

A large number of respondents admitted that they gauge what is acceptable behaviour online by watching and copying others.

"They will try something and then watch to see to what extent their Facebook friends sanction their behaviour -- the reaction they receive determines how they develop their norms of interaction," says Dr Hooper.

Most respondents believed there were differences between the way people behaved offline and on Facebook. The protection of the computer screen and the ability to talk to someone without seeing their facial expressions meant that people felt freer to say what they wanted without worrying about the immediate consequences.

"If you post something hurtful you don’t see the hurt in the recipient’s eyes," says Dr Hooper.

"You also have time to think about how to word your post to have the most powerful impact."

Dr Hooper is concerned about the implications of an online world that does not have strong guidelines in terms of behavioural norms.

"There is potential for what happens online to spin off into the offline environment -- in fact we have seen evidence that it is happening. If young people become accustomed to bullying people online, what is to stop them becoming more violent offline as well?"

The study also showed Facebook to offer many benefits, especially for young people who are striving to establish their identity as young adults.

Positive experiences respondents mentioned included being able to catch up with old friends, getting to know people better, and meeting new people.

Most of the respondents’ negative experiences were associated with security, privacy and undesirable postings. For instance, the majority of respondents indicated that they didn’t want to see information that was too personal, particularly problems and private information such as explicit romantic and sexual details.

People also felt an obligation to befriend people they would normally avoid offline, with many confessing that they had Facebook friends they actually didn’t like.

"This has raised some interesting questions that would be worthwhile to explore further," says Dr Hooper.

"For instance, if we are supposedly freer online, why is there an obligation to accept unappealing friendship invitations?"

Dr Hooper's research also featured in a Fairfax Media story on Stuff 'Blood-pack' warning over Facebook, and a Bay of Plenty Times feature: New law sets a net for cyberbullies.

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Another Award for PhD Student, Van Le

18 February 2014

Van Le, PhD Student

Congratulations to Van Le for receiving the Best Student Paper award at the Tenth Asia-Pacific Conference on Conceptual Modelling (APCCM 2014), held in Auckland 20 - 23 January 2014.

The title of Van's paper was "Effective Recognition and Visualisation of Semantic Requirements by Perfect SQL Samples".

This is the second Best Student Paper award Van has won at a major conference in the last 3 months.


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