User Understanding of Internet Data Breaches

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Hassanzadeh, Zahra




Data breaches happen when information is accessed by an unauthorized party. They are growing rapidly and becoming a high-impact problem that raises concerns for individuals as well as companies. We explored users understanding of Internet data breaches. We studied 20 participants to explore users' mental models of Internet data breaches, and we analyzed different documents for data breach notifications and news. We found that companies use crisis communication strategies to reduce their reputational damage as well as financial loss. We next conducted a quantitative study of 100 participants in an online. We found that the extracted mental models from our first study cannot be generalized to a bigger public. Our findings of this study regarding the influence of the communication strategies was in line with our second study, and suggest that it affects the users' perception of victimization, attitudes in data protection, and responsibility.


Computer Science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Computer Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Computer Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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