Original Research

Modelling the intended use of Facebook privacy settings

Kimberley Read, Karl van der Schyff
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 22, No 1 | a1238 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v22i1.1238 | © 2020 Kimberley Read, Karl van der Schyff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2020 | Published: 27 October 2020

About the author(s)

Kimberley Read, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Karl van der Schyff, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The ineffective use of Facebook privacy settings has become commonplace. This has made it possible for corporates not only to harvest personal information but also to persuade or influence user behaviour in a manner that does not always protect Facebook users.

Objectives: The objective of this article was to develop a research model that could be used to evaluate the influence of subjective norms, information security awareness and the process of threat appraisal on the intention to use Facebook privacy settings.

Method: In this article, the authors made use of a qualitative approach. Literature pertaining to subjective norms, information security awareness and threat appraisal was thematically analysed using Atlas.ti. Through a process of inductive reasoning, three propositions were developed.

Results: This study found that it is likely that an individual’s intention to use Facebook privacy settings will be influenced by subjective norms, information security awareness and the process of threat appraisal. To evaluate the behavioural influence of these selected constructs and relationships, a research model was developed based on both the theory of planned behaviour and protection motivation theory.

Conclusion: In this article, it is argued that the ineffective use of Facebook privacy settings may be because of the behavioural influence of subjective norms. This is compounded by the fact that most users are unaware of privacy threats. This makes these users vulnerable to Facebook-based privacy threats because the process of threat appraisal is conducted with incomplete, inaccurate or missing information.


Keywords

Facebook; information privacy; threat appraisal; theory of planned behaviour; information security awareness; norms; protection motivation theory.

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