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Comparing three models to explain precautionary online behavioural intentions

Jurjen Jansen (Cybersafety Research Group, NHL University of Applied Sciences and Dutch Police Academy, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands and Faculty of Humanities and law, Open Universiteit, Heerlen, Netherlands)
Paul van Schaik (School of Social Sciences, Business and Law, Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK)

Information and Computer Security

ISSN: 2056-4961

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to compare three social cognitive models in their ability to explain intentions of precautionary online behaviour. The models are: protection motivation theory (PMT), the reasoned action approach (RAA) and an integrated model comprising variables of these models.


Data were collected from 1,200 Dutch users of online banking by means of an online survey and analysed using partial least squares path modelling method.


The two models equally explain about much of the variance in precautionary online behaviour; in the integrated model, the significant predictors of the two models remained significant. Precautionary online behaviour is largely driven by response efficacy, attitude towards behaviour and self-efficacy.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation is that the predictor variables – “self-efficacy” and “attitude” – are represented by one item only in the path-analysis because of high cross-loadings of the other items with the dependent variable.

Practical implications

The results give practitioners a potentially wider range of options to design preventative measures.


The three models are successfully applied to online banking. This paper concludes that both PMT and RAA make a unique contribution in explaining variance for precautionary online behaviour. This paper is a re-publication of a previous conference paper (Jansen and van Schaik, 2016).



This study is part of the Dutch Research Program on Safety and Security of Online Banking. This programme is funded by the Dutch banking sector (represented by the Dutch Banking Association), the Police Academy and the Dutch National Police. The funders primarily took on a facilitating role in the entire research process and occasionally provided feedback on written materials, such as the questionnaire and the manuscript.


Jansen, J. and van Schaik, P. (2017), "Comparing three models to explain precautionary online behavioural intentions", Information and Computer Security, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 165-180.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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