Google Research

Smartphone Security Behavioral Scale: A New Psychometric Measurement for Smartphone Security

  • Hsiao-Ying Huang
  • Soteris Demetriou
  • Rini Banerjee
  • Güliz Seray Tuncay
  • Carl A Gunter
  • Masooda Bashir
Cornell University (2020)


Despite widespread use of smartphones, there is no measurement standard targeted at smartphone security behaviors. In this paper we translate a well-known cybersecurity behavioral scale into the smartphone domain and show that we can improve on this translation by following an established psychometrics approach surveying 1011 participants. We design a new 14-item Smartphone Security Behavioral Scale (SSBS) exhibiting high reliability and good fit to a two-component behavioural model based on technical versus social protection strategies. We then demonstrate how SSBS can be applied to measure the influence of mental health issues on smartphone security behavior intentions. We found significant correlations that predict SSBS profiles from three types of MHIs. Conversely, we are able to predict presence of MHIs using SSBS profiles. We obtain prediction AUCs of 72.1% for Internet addiction, 75.8% for depression and 66.2% for insomnia.

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