Measuring cyber secure behavior of elementary and high school students in the Netherlands

Jacob Willem Abraham Witsenboer*, Klaas Sijtsma*, Fedde Scheele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


School systems may pay attention to the fact that individuals and companies using smart devices are increasingly at risk of becoming victims of cybercrime. The literature on how effective students in developed countries such as the Netherlands are taught about cyber security skills during their school career is scarce. Although curriculum materials are available, scaling up computer science education is behind. Therefore, this study explores to what extent Dutch students develop cyber secure behavior at elementary and high school. A questionnaire was used for self-assessment of cyber security behavior. After the questionnaire was completed, two group interviews were conducted to improve the interpretation of the questionnaire results. The study findings revealed that the Dutch school curriculum hardly pays attention to this topic and that students acquire their online behavior mainly through experience, instructions on the internet, through parents, and through siblings. In addition, many students developed more reckless behavior over time. We recommend that cyber security education should start at elementary school as soon as children begin to use online equipment. A subject that deserves special attention is recognizing phishing emails and phishing websites. The learners should be convinced that risky behavior on the internet may turn against them and against the organization to which they belong.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104536
Number of pages11
JournalComputers & Education
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cyber secure behavior
  • Cyber security education
  • Information security behavior


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring cyber secure behavior of elementary and high school students in the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this