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Training and embedding cybersecurity guardians in older communities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Nicholson, Jack Holt


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© 2021 ACM. Older adults can struggle to access relevant community expertise when faced with new situations. One such situation is the number of cyberattacks they may face when interacting online. This paper reports on an initiative which recruited, trained, and supported older adults to become community cybersecurity educators (CyberGuardians), tasked with promoting cybersecurity best practice within their communities to prevent older adults falling victim to opportunistic cyberattacks. This initiative utilised an embedded peer-to-peer information dissemination strategy, rather than expert-to-citizen, facilitating the inclusion of individuals who would ordinarily be unlikely to seek cybersecurity information and thus may be vulnerable to cyberattacks. We report on ways the CyberGuardians used informal methods to create more aware communities, served as role models for behaviour change and indirectly improved their personal wellbeing. We discuss considerations for supporting CyberGuardians, including implications for sustainability and for replicating this model in other digital contexts, e.g., recognising misinformation or improving mental health.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nicholson J, Morrison B, Dixon M, Holt J, Coventry L, McGlasson J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Year of Conference: 2021

Pages: 86

Online publication date: 07/05/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2021

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/3411764.3445078

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450380966