Can I Live? College Student Perceptions of Risks, Security, and Privacy in Online Spaces

  • Kristin HaltinnerEmail author
  • Dilshani Sarathchandra
  • Nicole Lichtenberg
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 589)


This study explores U.S. college students’ perceptions of risk, security, and privacy in online spaces, and the strategies used by students to manage online risks. Twenty-one students participated in in-depth interviews and shared their experiences with online spaces and their perceptions of cyber threats. Our findings indicate that student cybersecurity concerns are shaped mainly by routinization and ritualization of risk, optimistic bias, and self-efficacy. Strategies commonly employed to overcome risks include accessing sources that are perceived as credible and trustworthy, restricting information sharing, and exercising learned helplessness—or, what we term here as the “can-I-live syndrome.”


College Student Social Capital Social Network Site Civic Engagement Internet Addiction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Michelle Sing for her research assistance and insightful comments. This research was partially supported through the University of Idaho IGEM Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin Haltinner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dilshani Sarathchandra
    • 1
  • Nicole Lichtenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA

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