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Engaging in cybersecurity proactive behavior: awareness in COVID-19 age

Duha Alsmadi (Faculty of Information Technology, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan)
Ali Maqousi (Faculty of Information Technology, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan)
Tala Abuhussein (Faculty of Administrative and Financial Sciences, University of Petra, Amman, Jordan)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 December 2022




Due to the lack of awareness and poor cybersecurity practices that pose cyber threats during COVID-19 time, this research aims to explore user's attitude toward engaging in proactive cybersecurity awareness behavior.


Based on the theory of planned behavior, the relationship between multiple factors and their influence on the attitude is explored. A survey-based approach was utilized to collect responses and a model was proposed and tested on 229 respondents from the University of Petra-Jordan.


The attitude was significantly influenced by peers' influence and the individuals' cybersecurity threats awareness, especially threats that emerged during the COVID-19 time.

Research limitations/implications

The research benefits decision makers in educational institutions who intend to develop cybersecurity awareness programs and helps them to assess user cybersecurity background weaknesses.


The research is the first to explore users' knowledge dimensions including organizational, information systems and social media as well as peers' influence on cybersecurity awareness. Also, it sheds light on the users’ perception of major cybersecurity hazards in COVID-19 time.



The authors acknowledge the support provided by the University of Petra. Also, the authors greatly appreciate the participants’ time and effort.


Alsmadi, D., Maqousi, A. and Abuhussein, T. (2022), "Engaging in cybersecurity proactive behavior: awareness in COVID-19 age", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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