Cletus Azaabi


The information revolution is affecting every aspect of society including education resulting in a concept known as digital learning or e-learning. One problem of digital learning environments and tools is the security and privacy of the learners. How to ensure the security and privacy of digital learners remains a major challenge leading to exposure among naive students. The objective of the study was to explore digital security and privacy culture among students and to propose a novel framework to enhance the security and privacy culture of students using a framework based on the competence learning theory. The Design Science Research (DSR) was adopted as a research paradigm with quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the implementation of the framework. 300 students from a college of education were purposively sampled for the study. A WhatsApp message was sent to the student requesting their confidential information under pretexting and impersonation to assess how security and privacy conscious they were. A framework was developed and implemented based on the theory of competence learning. The results showed high levels of vulnerabilities among students at 67.67% before the implementation of the framework in Round 1. This vulnerability reduced to 1.67% after the implementation of the framework in Round 2 and further reduced to 0% in Round 3. The paper concluded that the lack of security and privacy awareness of the students made them unconsciously incompetent (UI). Exposure to the vulnerability made them consciously incompetent (CI), whiles further rounds of exposures led them to be consciously competent (CC). further exposure will eventually result in unconsciously competent (UC) as students become resistant and or immune to security and privacy attacks. The implication of this study is that, as more students converge in the digital space, the need to build their immunity and resistance against cyber-attacks is critical to avoid exposures. Learning to be security conscious should be consistent and routine to ensure that students have renewed behavior changes to become resistant and immune to online attacks.

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digital space, online learning, e-learning, competence model, digital security

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