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Factors Affecting Identity Theft Anxiety Level in College Students

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Emerging Computing and Information Technologies II

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Sushma Sanga Bosch Inc


Ali Eydgahi Eastern Michigan University

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Ali Eydgahi started his career in higher education as a faculty member at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1985. Since then, he has been with the State University of New York, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Eastern Michigan University. During 2006-2010, he was Chair of the Department of Engineering and Aviation Sciences, Founder and Director of the Center for 3-D Visualization and Virtual Reality Applications, and Technical Director of the NASA funded MIST Space Vehicle Mission Planning Laboratory at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2010, he joined Eastern Michigan University as an Associate Dean in the College of Technology and currently is a Professor in the School of Engineering Technology. He has an extensive experience in curriculum and laboratory design and development. Dr. Eydgahi has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Tau Alpha Pi, as a member of Advisory and Editorial boards for many International Journals in Engineering and Technology, as a member of review panel for NASA and Department of Education, as a regional and chapter chairman of IEEE, SME, and ASEE, and as a session chair and as a member of scientific and international committees for many international conferences.

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Each year, millions of Americans are becoming the victims of identity theft and this is one of the seriously growing and widespread issues. The list of consumer complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission in 2011 indicates that for the 12th year in a row, identity theft complaints are in the top of the list. Among 1.8 million complaints that were filed in 2011, 279,156 or 15% were identity theft complaints. Nearly 25% of the identity theft complaints were related to tax or wage-related fraud. In December 2010, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that about 11.7 million people were the victims of identity theft; this constitutes five percent of people age 16 or older in the US. The Federal Trade Commission report shows that identity-theft was the number one complaint category in the Consumer Sentinel Network for calendar year 2014 with 13% of the overall complaints.

With increasing identity-theft complaints and with very little research in this area using students in educational institutes, this paper examines the effect of electronic devices self-efficacy, electronic devices usage, and information security awareness on anxiety levels of university students in becoming a victim of identity theft and whether there is any significant relationship between these variables. Also, influences of college student educational level, gender, age and race on these relationships are investigated. The impact of these factors on identity-theft anxiety level has not been tested in prior research using descriptive methodology and there has been a void in literature related to electronic devices self-efficacy.

In this study, an electronically distributed survey was designed and quantitative methodology, which uses descriptive research was utilized as the research method. The cross-sectional or correlation research methodology is used to examine the research questions. A sample of 187 students enrolled in a university located in southeast of Michigan was used and a purposive sampling method was utilized. This study consists of three independent variables and one dependent variable. The dependent variable is anxiety level caused by identity-theft; the independent variables are electronic-devices self-efficacy, electronic-devices usage and information-security awareness. The age, gender, race, educational level are used as demographical variables, which can be considered as covariates. A seven-point Likert scale was used for the designed survey with the ratings of strongly agree, agree, slightly agree, neither agree nor disagree, slightly disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree for anxiety, electronic-devices self-efficacy and information-security awareness variables. For electronic-devices usage, the survey provides multiple checkbox options. The demographic data was used as additional independent variables, which consisted of: a. Gender: a nominal female or male variable. b. Age: A text-box for students to enter their ages. c. Educational level: Undergraduate, graduate or doctoral-level options are provided. d. Race: American Indian/Native American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, White/Caucasian or Other are used as options. e. Device Ownership: Notebook, desktop, laptop, mobile, internet device and ebook are the choices for this variable.

The designed survey, hypotheses, details of analysis of all variables and demographic data, and the relationships between all variables will be discussed in the full paper.

Sanga, S., & Eydgahi, A. (2017, June), Factors Affecting Identity Theft Anxiety Level in College Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28349

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