Older Adults' Perceptions Of Online Risk

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Boothroyd, Vanessa




Older adults are a growing group of Internet users, but they are also among the most vulnerable for attack. We examine how older adults perceive risks involved in email and Facebook and compare their perceptions to those of younger adults. We interviewed sixteen younger adults and fifteen older adults and found that older adults had roughly the same perceptions of email risks, however notably different perceptions of Facebook risks than the younger users. Further, older adults’ understanding of available security and privacy tools in both email and Facebook was more limited than that of
younger adults. We also determined that family and the media are the most prevalent sources of information regarding computer security for participants in both age groups. This study provides recommendations on communication of Internet security and outlines elements of email and Facebook that need further clarification for older users, such as Facebook’s privacy settings.


Information Science
Psychology - Social
Computer Science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Human-Computer Interaction

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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