Hook, Line and Sinker: A Case Study of An Older Persons' Experience of Responding to a Phishing Email

Masters Thesis

Montefiore, Kara Joyce. 2022. Hook, Line and Sinker: A Case Study of An Older Persons' Experience of Responding to a Phishing Email. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q7q8q

Hook, Line and Sinker: A Case Study of An Older Persons' Experience of Responding to a Phishing Email

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorMontefiore, Kara Joyce
1. FirstA/Pr Tanya Machin
2. SecondDr Sonya Winterbotham
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages84
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q7q8q

Phishing emails are a form of cybercrime that has, for the past 20 years, affected thousands of older persons in Australia. Each year approximately 200 million dollars have been scammed from this vulnerable population, and these emails remain a significant concern. Readily available education and information do not appear to have significantly affected older persons recognising one of these emails. Demographic information shows that older persons are more likely to engage with these emails than any other cohort. This study examined an older person's experience with a phishing mail through a single case analysis to better understand how older persons interact with phishing emails. Examination of the email communication between the phisher and the older person and a series of interviews with the older person provided the data to apply the Theory of Deception and Social Judgment Theory to understand better why the older person engaged with the phishing email. The analysis of the email communication and interviews proved the complex nature of why older persons are more susceptible to phishing emails. The theories can contribute to a transtheoretical model or framework to understand the experience of phishing among older adults. This study emphasises that education and information for older persons regarding phishing emails must be person-centred.

KeywordsPhishing, Aging, Decision-making, Deception, Communication
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520402. Decision making
520106. Psychology of ageing
529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
520406. Sensory processes, perception and performance
520505. Social psychology
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Wellbeing
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