Protection motivation theory: A phishing expedition

As the number of individuals with email accounts continues to increase, so does the risk of unintentionally giving out sensitive information. Phishing has been described as a type of social engineering with the goal of gaining confidential or sensitive information through the guise of a trusted source. Little is known regarding the reasons behind what causes a person to divulge personal information. A new model is presented to help determine the cognitive response that comes into play when a victim receives a phishing email. This study has a strong theoretical base that will provide rigor to existing phishing research and help researchers and email users gain knowledge to arm themselves against falling victim to a scam.