COMPUTER SECURITY AWARENESS AND VULNERABILITIES:
AN EXPLORATORY STUDY FOR TWO PUBLIC HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN NORTH WESTERN STATES OF NIGERIAShiitu Abdullahi and Malam M. Aliyu
With the present world advancement in information and communication technology (ICT), there is a great need to institute computer security awareness among future ICT practitioners and professionals. Also, with the increasing computer security threats and vulnerabilities, it is vital for computer students to be security conscious in their personal and professional practices. Therefore, this research is an exploratory study that will evaluates computer security awareness and computer security vulnerabilities based on user practices among final year computer science students in selected tertiary institutions in North Western Nigeria. Using a cross-sectional survey and a convenient sampling technique, the target population was identified as two subgroups namely polytechnic and college of education students. The findings reveal different levels of computer security awareness among the subgroups of each tertiary institution. More so, the subgroups differ in computer security vulnerabilities in some areas for each institution and between institutions. Key findings include differences in perception of remote connection to computer while on a network, seemingly inappropriate usage of anti-virus protection among computer users, computer security vulnerabilities created by the computer and password sharing behavior of users, among others. At the end of the research, some recommendations were given. Lastly, it hoped that the findings of this study will provide important managerial implications.
Keywords: Computer, Security, Awareness, Vulnerabilities, Institutions, Northwest