How safely do we behave online? An explanatory study into the cyber security behaviors of Dutch citizens

The Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behavior (COM-B) model states that people’s behavior can be explained by their capabilities, opportunity, motivation, and the interaction between these components. This research focuses on applying the COM-B model to Dutch citizens’ cybersecurity behavior. Data are used from a Dutch cross-sectional online survey (N = 2,426). Multivariate analysis was performed with multivariate linear regression models. The results suggest, in line with the literature, that people that have relevant knowledge, and are motivated to protect themselves, report more cyber secure behavior. The opportunity people have to protect themselves was found to be only partly related to self-reported cybersecurity behavior. Explanations are provided for these findings, as well as opportunities for future research.