New Test to Determine Your Susceptibility to Scams and Hackers

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Friday, April 27th, 2018  |  No Comments

Worried about social engineering and how vulnerable your business is because of the human factor? Well, now you can give your staff a test to determine their susceptibility to scams to better focus your efforts on cyber security training where it is most needed.

Researchers have developed an online questionnaire which measures a range of personality traits to identify individuals who are more likely to fall victim to internet scams and other forms of cybercrime.

The psychometric tool, developed by researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Helsinki, asks participants to answer a range of questions in order to measure how likely they are to respond to persuasive techniques. The test, called Susceptibility to Persuasion II (StP-II) is freely available and consists of the StP-II scale and several other questions to understand persuadability better. A brief, automated, interpretation of the results is displayed at the end of the questionnaire.

Cambridge says that the results of the test can be used to predict who will be more likely to become a victim of cybercrime, although the researchers say that StP-II could also be used for hiring in certain professions, for the screening of military personnel or to establish the psychological characteristics of criminal hackers. Their results are reported in the journal PLOS One.

“Scams are essentially like marketing offers, except they’re illegal,” said paper’s first author Dr. David Modic from Cambridge’s Department of Computer Science and Technology. “Just like in advertising, elements of consumer psychology and behavioral economics all come into the design of an online scam, which is why it’s useful to know which personality traits make people susceptible to them.”

Modic and his colleagues at the University of Exeter designed an initial version of the test five years ago that yielded solid results but was not sufficiently detailed. The new version is far more comprehensive and robust.

“We are not aware of an existing scale that would measure all the constructs that are part of StP-II,” said Modic, who is also a senior member of King’s College, Cambridge. “There are existing scales that measure individual traits, but when combined, the sheer length of these scales would present the participant with a psychometric tool that is almost unusable.”

If your business needs cybersecurity training, give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 or contact us at [email protected]

Samantha Keller

Director of Marketing and PR at EnhancedTECH
Samantha Keller (AKA Sam) is a published author, tech-blogger, event-planner and mother of three fabulous humans. Samantha has worked in the IT field for the last fifteen years, intertwining a freelance writing career along with technology sales, events and marketing. She began working for EnhancedTECH ten years ago after earning her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attending Fuller Seminary. She is a lover of kickboxing, extra-strong coffee, and Wolfpack football.Her regular blog columns feature upcoming tech trends, cybersecurity tips, and practical solutions geared towards enhancing your business through technology.
Samantha Keller

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