DOI: 10.17478/jegys.1323423 ISSN:

A survey on college students’ cybersecurity awareness and education from the perspective of China

Hongbo GUO, Hasan TINMAZ
  • Education
As people increasingly rely on information and communication technology (ICT), a variety of cyber security issues are emerging, making improving cyber security awareness (CSA) an important topic. This quantitative study focuses on a group of college students from eight local public universities in China (n=1710) and aims to investigate their CSA and education levels using a 32-question questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and cross analysis were used to analyze the current situation related to cybersecurity in college. The results showed that nearly 50% of students spend more than four hours online, with female students spending more online time than males. Smartphones are currently the most popular devices, and spam is the most common issue they encounter. Descriptive statistics, independent samples t-test, and One-way ANOVA test were used to analyze the levels of CSA and education. For CSA, all students are still weak in their password practices. Male students have higher CSA levels in usage habit related to device and HTTP use, but female students perform better in social media. Majors do not make a significant difference in CSA, and freshmen perform better than juniors in device and HTTP application. Regarding cybersecurity education, almost all students believe that colleges need to strengthen information security education. Male students are more familiar with cybersecurity laws, and there are differences in the education methods chosen by students in different majors. Students majoring in computer-related fields prefer more specialized knowledge. This study not only provides valuable insights into the prevailing state of CSA among college students but also offers effective recommendations for enhancing cybersecurity education practices in colleges. The findings underscore the importance of addressing weaknesses in password practices and emphasize the need for comprehensive educational approaches that encompass various facets of cybersecurity. Institutions should consider tailoring their instructional strategies to meet the unique needs of students from diverse academic disciplines. Moreover, fostering awareness of cybersecurity laws and regulations is crucial for all students, regardless of their major.

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