Cyber Security

The rapid growth of technology and the internet has many benefits and opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. However, we are becoming increasingly dependent upon cyber space and this has brought new risks to our personal information, identity, personal assets and systems. Improving cyber security is undoubtedly important and one area of particular focus is the “human element”. The human element is often cited as the weakest link in security, whether malicious or not, users compromise security and are susceptible to social engineering attacks. In line with the UK Cyber Security Strategy, we seek to transform the cyber-landscape so that our citizens, businesses and critical infrastructures are protected from cyber attacks.

PaCT Lab has been instrumental in the understanding of the human side of technology and Cyber Security with major grants from government and industry. One area of our previous work has focused upon is exploring trust in technology, brands, information and people. This includes NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) funded work on trust and health information, JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee)  funded work on trust and learners, MOD (Ministry of Defense) funded work on trust on the Internet and industry funded work on barriers and promotion of security behaviour when completing financial transactions. Furthermore, we seek to understand individuals perceptions of privacy threats, their awareness and willingness to disclose information in different contexts.

Our previous research has also investigated security and privacy issues in the workplace, in particular  employee and employer awareness of these issues. Additionally, we also explore issues of global identity management, usable security and accessibility for different groups (e.g. older adults). Overriding all of our research is the notion of behaviour change (e.g. how can we change end-user behaviour to promote more secure practice).


In the cSALSA project, we take a lifespan approach to studying how cyber-security is understood, and the attitudes and behaviours of people to cyber-security and risk. The project studies cyber-security across three main life stages – amongst young people, those of working age, and older people. The research project focuses on how people’s attitudes and … Continue reading “cSALSA”


CYBECO will research, develop, demonstrate, evaluate and exploit a new framework for managing cybersecurity risks, one that is focusing on cyberinsurance, as key risk management treatment. CYBECO integrates multidisciplinary research methods from Behavioural Economics, Statistics, Game and Decision Theory, Security Engineering and Behavioral Psychology in order to develop new concepts and models that are combined … Continue reading “CYBECO”


Choice Architecture for Information Security is a project within the Research Institute in the Science of Cyber Security, a joint initiative between EPSRC and GCHQ. The project is a collaboration between Newcastle University and Northumbria University. In particular, it involves researchers from Northumbria University’s Psychology and Communication Technology (PaCT) Lab and Warning, Advice & Reporting … Continue reading “ChAISe”

Understanding the relationship between digital accumulation behaviours and GDPR

Personal data and its protection is a key feature of the new GDPR. This includes clear limitations on is collection, storage and use being outlined in law, but also requires disclosure of data breaches, for which a high financial penalty may be applied. Our research has demonstrated that the accumulation and failure to delete digital … Continue reading “Understanding the relationship between digital accumulation behaviours and GDPR”


IMPRINTS (Identity Management – Public Responses to Identity Technologies and Services) was a comparative and multidisciplinary research project, asking about the influences on UK and US publics to engage and/or disengage with identity management practices, services and technologies of the future. These involved, among others, new forms of biometric authentication; innovative ‘smart’ tokens like ID … Continue reading “IMPRINTS”

Learner’s Trust in Online Information

This study had three aims; • to ‘provide an overview of the ways in which trust is either assessed or asserted in relation to the use and provision of resources in the Web environment for research and learning’;• to ‘assess what solutions might be worth further investigation and whether establishing ways to assert trust in … Continue reading “Learner’s Trust in Online Information”

Trust and Mistrust of Online Information: What Influences the Younger Generation?

This 12 month funded research grant explores young adults’ attitudes towards information, advice and support found on the internet internet to further develop a staged model of trust. The model will help us understand what factors influence, persuade and predict belief and intention to act on the information. Specifically we seek to (a) document where  … Continue reading “Trust and Mistrust of Online Information: What Influences the Younger Generation?”