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A study of cybersecurity for telecommunication services concerning smartphone users in Thailand

Khera, Varin (2018) A study of cybersecurity for telecommunication services concerning smartphone users in Thailand. Professional Doctorate thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Smartphones are powerful handheld computers that allow users to connect in real-time with others around the globe through high quality phone calls, and data exchange. They are 2.1 billion smartphones users worldwide in 2016 with this number expected to grow to almost 3 billion by the end of 2020 (www.statista.com). This enormous uptake together with valuable information contained in smart phones makes them an attractive target for attackers to exploit.

This study was conducted to indicate the abilities and behaviours of Thai smartphone users in protecting their smartphones from cyber threats. The objectives of this study are: (1) to investigate cyber threats on smartphones and trends; (2) to investigate cybersecurity handlings for smartphone users in Thailand; (3) to investigate general behaviours and protection behaviours of Thai smartphone users; and (4) to analyse causal relationship among constructs of the proposed protection behaviour model.

This study utilizes mixed methods research, qualitative and quantitative studies, to collect and analyze the data. Document research was performed in the qualitative part. For the quantitative study, a total of 720 samples from smartphone users were collected with cluster sampling technique from main regions of Thailand. Data were then analyzed with descriptive statistic, T-Test, and ANOVA to create a model, based on Roger, R.W. (1983)’s Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), with the Structural Equation Modeling (S.E.M.) technique to find the factors that affect behaviour of Thai in protecting their smartphones from cyber threats.

Based on the collected data, the main findings of this study show that: (1) threats on smartphones that can be caused by attackers - malware attacks, wireless network attacks, denial of service attacks, break-in attacks, and threats due to unawareness of users themselves such as malfunctions, phishing, phone thefts/loses, and platform alterations; (2) identification of the agent responsible for providing incident response to computer security threats, the Thailand Computer Emergency Response Team or ThaiCERT, and their services should be extended to the whole of Thailand; (3) the overall protection behaviours of Thai people were in good level; (4) females had less degree in protecting themselves from mobile threats than males; (5) people whose ages between 41 – 60 had less degree in protecting themselves from mobile threats than the other age-groups; (6) people who have never experienced with phone virus/malware infection, who have never used public Wi-Fi, and who have never transferred money using Internet banking on their phones had less degree in protecting themselves from mobile threats than the other groups; and (7) the protection behaviour model of Thai smartphone users consisted of the following variables: Perceived Vulnerability, Self-efficacy, Social Influence, Threat Appraisal, Coping Appraisal, and Protection Motivation and Protection Behaviours. Among these, only variables that had impacts on Protection Behaviour of Thai smartphone users are: Self-efficacy, Social Influence, Coping Appraisal, and Protection Motivation. The findings provide strategic directions for the education and raising of awareness among smartphone users in Thailand so as to strengthen their protection against potential threats.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
United Nations SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Supervisor(s): Wong, Kevin and Fung, Lance
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/42126
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