Brand, knowledge, and false sense of security

Wendy Hui (Nottingham Business School in China, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Ningbo, People's Republic of China)

Information Management & Computer Security

ISSN: 0968-5227

Publication date: 20 July 2010



The purpose of this paper is to study how brand name can affect consumers' perceived protection from security technologies. It also seeks to investigate the significance of knowledge in reducing consumers' reliance on brand name in their security technology adoption decision.


A 2×2 experiment was used to study the effects of brand name and knowledge on the adoption of antivirus software. Subjects were randomly assigned to groups and presented with different brands and product choice sets. Product choices from different groups were analyzed using z‐tests and logistic regression.


It is found that brand name affects product choice, a strong brand may tend to induce a false sense of security and lead to poor produce choice, and knowledge can reduce consumers' reliance on brand name in security technology adoption decision.


The paper highlights consumers' reliance on brand name to infer the level of protection provided by a security technology. It also shows that knowledge can reduce this reliance. The findings of this paper have significant implications to brand, consumer expectation, and product line management.



Hui, W. (2010), "Brand, knowledge, and false sense of security", Information Management & Computer Security, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 162-172.

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