Original Research

Insight into ethical cyber behaviour of undergraduate students at selected African universities

Nurudeen A. Aderibigbe, Dennis N. Ocholla
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 22, No 1 | a1131 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v22i1.1131 | © 2020 Nurudeen A. Aderibigbe, Dennis N. Ocholla | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2019 | Published: 08 October 2020

About the author(s)

Nurudeen A. Aderibigbe, Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, Empangeni, South Africa
Dennis N. Ocholla, Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, Empangeni, South Africa

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Background: Worldwide, immoral cyberspace users have continued to use the Internet to commit crimes; this has caused unease and has called for quick response to the problem especially within the educational sector. The practical value of this study is in its benefit to other researchers who may be attempting to understand South African or Nigerian cyber technology user‘s behaviour; it may also help relevant educational authorities to get relevant understanding of behaviour in the realm of cyberspace.

Objectives: This study examined undergraduate students in relation to cyber technology at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU), South Africa, and the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria.

Method: A survey design, questionnaire as the tool for data collection was adapted and samples for the study were drawn from undergraduate students in two conveniently selected universities in South Africa and Nigeria. Overall, 450 undergraduate students were invited to participate in the survey; 380 respondents completed and returned the questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 84.4%.

Results: Most of the respondents from the sampled universities reported that they were aware of what constitutes unethical cyber behaviour. Furthermore, the participants revealed that they hardly received orientation at the universities on cyber behaviour. The challenges that the students faces were reported.

Conclusion: This study recommends that universities should sustain orientation and/or training programmes on cyber-ethics and cyber security awareness at the start of each academic year. The results of this study may spark further discussions and research on cyber technology access and use in contemporary society.


cyber-ethics; ethical behaviour; South Africa; Nigeria; undergraduate students; 4th industrial revolution; Internet of things.


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