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The need for education on phishing: a survey comparison of the UK and Qatar

Mariam Al‐Hamar (Department of Information and Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Doha, Qatar)
Ray Dawson (Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Jassim Al‐Hamar (Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




This paper seeks to focus on identifying the need for education to enhance awareness of the e‐mail phishing threat as the most effective way to reduce the risk of e‐mail phishing in one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the State of Qatar.


A survey comprising a questionnaire and interviews was used to investigate the awareness of phishing among Qatari citizens, their susceptibility to phishing and their views on the best method of defence against this attack, and this was compared to other developed nations, the UK in particular.


The paper concludes that phishing is becoming common and very successful because of people's susceptibility to such attack, largely due to insufficient awareness of the threat. Comparing Qatar with the UK, there were significant differences between responses in each country in most questionnaire variables, especially those identifying the vulnerability to phishing which was found to be very high in Qatar.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that there is a particular need for education on phishing in this fast developing country.

Practical implications

There is a growing threat in the use of phishing by hackers and some businesses to obtain information on individual users on the internet through e‐mail or the web. In some cases this has led to identity thefts and related illogical operations online both within and across countries. This paper has compared level of awareness of phishing in two countries and has the potential to shed light on attitudes and present status of e‐mail phishing with a view to developing ways of dealing with it and improving cyber security and international operations.


The paper adopts an innovative approach to study e‐mail phishing and compares results from two diverse countries. New ideas are advanced from the findings which are useful for understanding some operations in cyber space.



Al‐Hamar, M., Dawson, R. and Al‐Hamar, J. (2011), "The need for education on phishing: a survey comparison of the UK and Qatar", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 308-319.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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