Cyber Hygiene: The Big Picture

  • Kaie MaennelEmail author
  • Sten Mäses
  • Olaf Maennel
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11252)


Cybercrime is on the rise and it’s widely believed that an appropriate cyber hygiene is essential to secure our digital lives. The expression “cyber hygiene” appears in conversations, conferences, scientific articles, legal texts, governmental publications and commercial websites. However, what cyber hygiene is, what is appropriate or optimal cyber hygiene, or what is really meant by this expression and related practices—that is often varying and even somewhat contradicting. We review and analyze selected academic papers, government and corporate publications with the focus on implicit and explicit definitions of what cyber hygiene means to the authors. We also draw parallels and contrast the expression in cyber security context and terminology (cyber awareness, behavior and culture). We present a conceptual analysis and propose a definition to assist in achieving a universal understanding and approach to cyber hygiene. This work is intended to stimulate a clarifying discussion of what appropriate “cyber hygiene” is, how it should be defined and positioned in the wider cyber security context in order to help changing the human behavior for achieving a more secure connected world.



The authors would like to thank Archimedes SA and CybExer Technologies for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TalTech UniversityTallinnEstonia

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