Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Information Systems and Technology


Information and Decision Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dyck, Harold


We currently live in a day and age where nearly everyone uses electronic devices and connects to the web. Whether it be from a desktop, laptop, or smartphone, staying connected and having information at your fingertips is easier than ever. Although technology has become so intermingled with our daily lives, the idea around security is not as momentous as it should be. As mentioned by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), “based on recent statistics, the average unprotected computer can be compromised in a matter of minutes. The majority of individuals who thought their computers were safe…were wrong.” (MS-ISAC 2)

This paper specifically investigates what types of security practices individuals in Southern California are aware of, how much of these practices are actively implemented and how can we not only further spread awareness, but also keep them engaged in these practices. This study shows that most of the participants feel confident about their level of knowledge regarding basic cyber security practices. Similarly, they were also confident in their active and frequent implementation of security practices.

Nonetheless, it is imperative that implementing security measures become an active part of people’s behavior. As technology and interconnectedness continues to grow, security will only become even more at risk. Since it is a difficult task to change the behavior of people, this study suggests the best route is to begin consistently teaching people at a young age. By doing so, many of these practices can become embedded within people and nearly function as second nature as they mature. Although this suggestion does not focus on security awareness and implementation on those individuals who currently use smartphones, computers, and other devices, it is a sure way of ensuring the future populations become more engaged in understanding the importance of security measures and practice them.