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Conference proceedings | Research library
| 16/02/2022

Investigating cyber security awareness among preservice teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Moses Moyo | Osman Sadeck | Nyarai Tunjera | Agnes Chigona

South African institutions of higher education suffered serious disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic which, resulted in migrating most teaching and learning activities to various online platforms, of which many depended on the open web. This has the potential to expose lecturers and students to cyber security threats and risks. As such cyber security awareness (CSA) becomes important. This study investigated the CSA among preservice teachers pursuing a Bachelor of Education studies in Further Education and Training (FET) at a university in Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of the study was to gain an insight into CSA among preservice teachers who had been using digital technologies to support learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. An electronic questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 300 preservice teachers. The findings show that preservice teachers were limited in their awareness of cyber security threats and risks likely to affect their use of various digital technologies for remote learning. Furthermore, preservice teachers implemented basic strategies to mitigate basic cyber security threats and attacks. These basic strategies were found not to be sufficient for advanced attacks. The study concluded that lack of proper CSA and knowledge among preservice teachers presented them with challenges in solving threat attacks associated with denial-of-service (DoS), data theft and phishing when using personal digital devices.

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