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Eleventh International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2017)
Title: Factors Influencing the Use of Privacy Settings in Location-Based Social Networks
Author(s): Henry Oladimeji, Jacques Ophoff
Keywords: Location Based Social Networks, Protection Motivation Theory, Fear Appeal
Abstract: In location-based social networks (LBSN) users provide location information on public profiles that can potentially be used in harmful ways. LBSNs have privacy settings that allow users to control the privacy level of their profile, thus limiting access to location information by others, but for various reasons users seldom make use of these privacy settings. Using Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) as a theoretical lens, this paper examines whether users can be encouraged to use LBSN privacy settings through fear appeals. Fear appeals have been used in various studies to arouse fear in users, to stop or reduce a risky behaviour through the threat of impending danger. However, within the context of social networking, it is not yet clear how fear-inducing arguments will ultimately influence the use of privacy settings by users. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of fear appeals on user compliance with recommendations to use privacy settings. A sample of LBSN users (n=248) completed a survey measuring the variables conceptualized by PMT. Analysis of the responses show that PMT provides promising explanation for the intention to use privacy settings by social network users.
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