The information security behavior of home users: Exploring a user’s risk tolerance and past experiences in the context of backing up information

Research examining the information security behavior of individuals with respect to risk has focused primarily on only a handful of constructs; most of which have their roots in Protection Motivation Theory (PMT). However, there is still a lot we do not know about the behavior of individuals. This study examines the information security behavior of home users in the context of one dependent variable: backing up information. The purpose of this research is largely exploratory with the goal to aid model development in this area. Therefore, an additional set of constructs in various domains are used to measure an individual’s risk tolerance and risk perception beyond those generally used in PMT. Additionally, a construct is included to account for an individual’s past experiences as it relates to the dependent variable. The results indicate that an individual’s risk tolerance and risk perception with respect to the ethical, financial, and health domains may be important predictors of how they perceive risk in the information security domain, and specifically the task of backing up data. Furthermore, past experiences related to backing up information may help explain some of an individual’s current behavior in keeping data backed up.