Do malware warnings reduce the likelihood of installing bad software? The case of the Trojan Horse

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


Chowdhury, Wahida




My research focused on increasing computer security by reducing users’ likelihood of installing Trojan Horses: malware hiding inside attractive software. Social cognition research suggests that reading security warnings in software reviews could reduce the likelihood of installing malware. In Study 1, 43 undergraduates viewed user reviews of hypothetical games. Half the reviews were malware warnings. Ratings of the warnings’ strength were used to select strong and weak warnings for Study 2. In Study 2, 45 undergraduates viewed reviews of real computer games. I manipulated the strength and
number of warnings in the reviews. Results showed the likelihood of installing a game was influenced by both the number and strength of malware warnings in reviews: two warnings reduced ratings of installation likelihood more than did one warning; strong warnings reduced the ratings more than did weak ones. Implications and limitations of the findings for social contributions to computer security are discussed.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).