Dr Lee Hadlington

Job: Associate Professor in Cyberpsychology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8626

E: lhadlington@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

I am an active researcher in the area of Cyberpsychology, with a particular focus on aspects of risk, online safety, and response to disruption in digital technology. 

A key focus of my work is the examination of how aspects of the ‘human factor’ can serve to influence how much individuals engage in ‘good’ security practices online. This includes an exploration of how individual differences in things such as personality traits can serve to influence organisational cybersecurity and adherence to accepted information security rules. I help businesses develop effective and measurable interventions designed to help engage their employees in protecting the organisation. The work also includes a cross-cultural exploration of online risk taking and how different interventions can be used in different cultural contexts.

Another aspect of my work links into cybercrime, specifically how individuals define this concept, and also what makes someone more susceptible to this time of crime versus others. This work also involves an exploration of risk taking and risk perception in children, with the practical implications again linked to the developmental of more effective behavioural interventions to mitigate risk.

Research group affiliations

Psychology and Technology Research Group

Cyber Security Centre Research Group

Publications and outputs 

  • “I cannot live without my [tablet]”: Children’s experiences of using tablet technology within the home.
    “I cannot live without my [tablet]”: Children’s experiences of using tablet technology within the home. Hadlington, L. J.; White, Hannah J.; Curtis, Sarah The current study aimed to examine children’s experiences of using tablet technology within the home. Eighteen children aged between eight and nine years old took part in four separate focus group discussions. Thematic analysis revealed three predominant themes: a battle of boundaries, a tool to escape the surrounding world, and an emerging dependency on tablet technology. The data implies that there is a growing dependency on tablet technology use among this age group. The current study also outlines that many children engage in a variety of techniques to circumvent parental limits on their tablet usage. However, other children discussed a lack of clear rules and restrictions for their use of tablet devices. The findings suggest that covert and unregulated use of tablet technology may have a detrimental impact upon children, particularly in relation to reduced social interaction, fatigue and increased family tensions due to excessive usage. Further research of child interactions with a wide variety of digital technology and media is warranted. Such exploration would further our understanding of the potential advantages and disadvantages for such technology use, as well as presenting a pathway to produce more effective guidance on home use.
  • How do Undergraduate students construct their view of cybercrime? Exploring definitions of cybercrime, perceptions of online risk and victimisation
    How do Undergraduate students construct their view of cybercrime? Exploring definitions of cybercrime, perceptions of online risk and victimisation Conway, G.; Hadlington, L. J. While cybercrime is recognized as an increasing problem in society, it is unclear how users perceive cybercrime and online risks. This qualitative study explored how undergraduate students in England, a group who are at relatively high risk of victimization, viewed language and concepts associated with cybercrime. Three focus groups were conducted with a total of 16 18- to 21-year-old undergraduate students, and data were analyzed inductively and thematically. The themes explored in this article include: the physical world versus the virtual world; confusion regarding the law (including a perceived lack of police interest in responding to cybercrime); the normalization of risky or harmful online behaviour; and victimization. The themes also point towards a variety of misconceptions about cybercrime alongside an ambivalence towards the potential risk of becoming a victim. The data provide a potential step towards tailoring education packages and awareness programmes to ensure at-risk groups are equipped with actionable mechanisms to protect themselves. Further research is suggested in terms of exploring how such perceptions can be changed through effective training and awareness programmes, potentially reducing the level of risk in this group. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Exploring the role of work identity and work locus of control in information security awareness
    Exploring the role of work identity and work locus of control in information security awareness Janicke, Helge; Hadlington, L. J.; Yevseyeva, Iryna; Jones, Kevin; Popovac, Masa A growing body of research evidence has been focused on exploring aspects of individual differences in the context of human factors and adherence to organisational information security. The present study aimed to extend this research by exploring three individual variables related directly to the individual’s perceived control within the workplace, their commitment to current work identity, and the extent to which they are reconsidering commitment to work. A total 1003 participants aged between 18-65 (Mean = 40.29; SD = 12.28), who were in full or part-time employment took part in the study. The results demonstrated that work locus of control acted as a significant predictor for total scores on a measure of information security awareness. Those individuals who demonstrated more externality had weaker engagement in accepted information security within the workplace. The findings from the current study are discussed in the context of potential links to counterproductive work behaviours, as well as presenting possible practical routes for intervention strategies to help mitigate poor engagement in information security awareness. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • End-user frustrations and failures in digital technology: exploring the role of Fear of Missing Out, Internet addiction and personality
    End-user frustrations and failures in digital technology: exploring the role of Fear of Missing Out, Internet addiction and personality Hadlington, L. J.; Scase, M. O. The present study aimed to explore the potential relationship between individual differences in responses to failures with digital technology. In total, 630 participants (50% male) aged between 18e68 years (M ¼ 41.41, SD ¼ 14.18) completed an online questionnaire. This included a self-report, response to failures in digital technology scale, a measure of Fear of Missing Out, Internet addiction, and the BIG-5 personality traits. Fear of Missing Out, Internet addiction, extraversion, and neuroticism all served as significant positive predictors for maladaptive responses to failures in digital technology. Agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness acted as significant negative predictors for maladaptive responses to failures in digital technology. The responses to failures in digital technology scale presented good internal reliability, with items loading onto four key factors, these being; ‘maladaptive responses’, ‘adaptive responses’, ‘external support and venting frustrations’, and ‘anger and resignation’. The findings are discussed in the context of the end user experience, particularly where individual differences are seen to influence the level of frustration arising from a failure. The findings are also seen as a potential route for reducing the negative impact of failures in digital technology, particularly in the context of organisational productivity and responses to malicious cyberattacks. open access article
  • Employees Attitudes towards Cyber Security and Risky Online Behaviours: An Empirical Assessment in the United Kingdom
    Employees Attitudes towards Cyber Security and Risky Online Behaviours: An Empirical Assessment in the United Kingdom Hadlington, L. J. The present study aimed to explore if the size of company an individual works for, age or attitudes towards cyber security affected frequency to engage in risky online behaviours. A total of 515 participants aged between 18-84 in full or part-time employment were asked to complete a questionnaire that consisted of two scales. One measured their attitude towards cyber security and general awareness of cyber crime, the other examined the types of ‘risky’ cyber security behaviours they were engaged in. The results demonstrated a significant negative correlation between attitudes towards cyber security and risky cyber security behaviours, with more negative attitudes being linked to higher levels of risky behaviours. There were also significant differences according to company size and age group according to frequency of engaging in risky cyber security behaviour and attitudes towards cyber security. The findings are presented as furthering our understanding of how employee attitudes contribute to company cyber security, as well as highlighting how the size of an organisation could be linked to difference in knowledge and adherence to ISA protocols.
  • User Reactions to Failures and Frustrations within Cyber Environments – Systematic Coding of Previous Work (URM Coding)
    User Reactions to Failures and Frustrations within Cyber Environments – Systematic Coding of Previous Work (URM Coding) Scase, M. O.; Hadlington, L. J.; Rai, R.
  • Segmentation Analysis of Susceptibility to Cybercrime: Exploring Individual Differences in Information Security Awareness and Personality Factors
    Segmentation Analysis of Susceptibility to Cybercrime: Exploring Individual Differences in Information Security Awareness and Personality Factors Hadlington, L. J.; Chivers, S. The present article aimed to explore if susceptibility to cybercrime can be linked to information security awareness and personality factors. A total of 1,054 participants aged between 18 and 84 years took part in an online survey consisting of a recently developed segmentation analysis tool designed to explore an individual’s susceptibility to cybercrime. Alongside this, two other scales measuring information security awareness and the personality trait of impulsivity were also included. In total, 60% of the population surveyed presented as being in the higher risk categories for susceptibility to cybercrime. Furthermore, individuals in the higher risk categories for susceptibility to cybercrime also presented poorer information security awareness, as well as having higher levels of trait impulsivity. It was also noted that certain demographic factors also linked to susceptibility to cybercrime, including age and current employment status, with the unemployed and student populations being less well represented in lower risk categories. This work is seen as being critical while designing effective intervention strategies that are designed to target specific atrisk populations, as well as presenting a key tool that could be widely used by organizations to examine risk within their own specific populations. open access article
  • Users Reactions to Failures and Frustrations Within Cyber Environments – Literature Review Update
    Users Reactions to Failures and Frustrations Within Cyber Environments – Literature Review Update Scase, M. O.; Hadlington, L. J.; Rai, R.; Westmacott, M.; Turner, C.
  • Is Media Multitasking Good for Cybersecurity? Exploring the relationship between media multitasking and everyday cognitive failures on self-reported risky cybersecurity behaviours
    Is Media Multitasking Good for Cybersecurity? Exploring the relationship between media multitasking and everyday cognitive failures on self-reported risky cybersecurity behaviours Hadlington, L. J.; Murphy, K. The current study focused on how engaging in media multitasking (MMT) and the experience of everyday cognitive failures impact on the individual’s engagement in risky cybersecurity behaviors (RCsB). In total, 144 participants (32 males, 112 females) completed an online survey. The age range for participants was 18 to 43 years (M=20.63, SD=4.04). Participants completed three scales which included an inventory of weekly MMT, a measure of everyday cognitive failures, and RCsB. There was a significant difference between high mediamultitaskers (HMM), average media multitaskers (AMM), and light media multitaskers (LMM) in terms of RCsB, with HMM demonstrating more frequent risky behaviors than LMM or AMM. The HMM group also reported more cognitive failures in everyday life than the LMM group. A regression analysis showed that everyday cognitive failures and MMT acted as significant predictors for RCsB. These results expand our current understanding of the relationship between human factors and cybersecurity behaviors, which are useful to inform the design of training and intervention packages to mitigate RCsB.
  • The "Human Factor" In Cybersecurity: Exploring the Accidental Insider
    The "Human Factor" In Cybersecurity: Exploring the Accidental Insider Hadlington, L. J. A great deal of research has been devoted to the exploration and categorization of threats posed from malicious attacks from current employees who are disgruntled with the organisation, or are motivated by financial gain. These so-called “insider threats” pose a growing menace to information security, but given the right mechanisms, they have the potential to be detected and caught. In contrast, human factors related to aspects of poor planning, lack of attention to detail, and ignorance are linked to the rise of the accidental or unintentional insider. In this instance there is no malicious intent and no prior planning for their “attack,” but their actions can be equally as damaging and disruptive to the organi- sation. This chapter presents an exploration of fundamental human factors that could contribute to an individual becoming an unintentional threat. Furthermore, key frameworks for designing mitigations for such threats are also presented, alongside suggestions for future research in this area. Copyright © 2018 by IGI Global. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without written permission from the publisher.Product or company names used in this set are for identification purposes only. Inclusion of the names of the products or companies does not indicate a claim of ownership by IGI Global of the trademark or registered trademark. IGI Global Fair Use Policy: As you know authors and editors of IGI Global sign an Author Warranty and Transfer of Copyright Agreement for their work published by IGI Global. However, IGI Global supports a Fair Use Policy where under this policy you may utilize your final typeset PDF (which includes the title page, table of contents and other front materials, and the copyright statement) of your chapter or article of this publication (NOT the entire book or journal issue), in your teaching materials or post to your own secure personal website and/or university repository site. Under the Fair Use Policy, however, authors and editors ARE NOT authorized to upload their chapter, article, or full book publication or journal issue to open access sites, including, but not limited to: ResearchGate, Academia.edu, SSRN, arXiv, or any others. Doing so is considered a clear violation of the International Copyright Laws and violators could face legal consequences.

Click here for a full listing of Lee Hadlington's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

My research covers a variety of broad areas including Cyberpsychology and Cybercognition. My current areas of interests focus on (but are not limited to):

  • Insider Threat: Psychological/behavioural Indicators and Threat Detection
  • Human Factors in Information Security Awareness
  • Online Deception and misinformation
  • End User Reactions to Failures in Digital Technology
  • Risk Perception and Risk Taking in Young Children and Undergraduate Students
  • Cybercrime: the definition of Cybercrime: awareness and prevention
  • Cybercognition: the impact of digital technology on human cognition

Areas of teaching

  • Cyberpsychology
  • Human Factors in Cybersecurity
  • Suceptibility to Cybercrime
  • Research methods
  • Human-Computer interaction

Qualifications

PhD, BSc Psychology (Hons); PGCertHE

Courses taught

  • Psychology (BSc)
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence (Masters)

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, awarded June 2007.
  • Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society.
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Conference attendance

Bridges, A M and Hadlington, L J (2001) A probed recall measure of the effects of background sound on human information processing (End of Grant Report No. GR/L96257/02): EPSRC.

Bridges, A M and Hadlington L J (2003). Effects of presenting irrelevant sound to the right and left channels. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 12(2), 100

Hadlington, L J & Bridges, A M (2003). Hemispheric differences in the processing of irrelevant sound. Presented at the British Psychological Society PSYPAG conference, July 2003.

Hadlington, L J, Bridges, A M, & Beaman, P (2006). A left-ear disadvantage for the Processing of Irrelevant Sound: Effects of Manipulating Changing State Information. Paper presented at the Annual BPS Cognitive Conference.

Hadlington, L J, & Bridges, A M, & Beaman, P (2006).  A left-ear disadvantage for the presentation of irrelevant sound: The importance of tasks requirements and location of presentation in the “irrelevant sound” effect.  Brain and Cognition, 61. 159 – 171.

Hadlington, L J, Bridges, A M, & Darby, R (2004).  Auditory location in the Irrelevant Sound Effect: The effects of presenting auditory stimuli to either the left ear, the right ear or both ears.  Brain and Cognition, 55, 547-557

Current research students

  • Emily Smith; Exploring aspects of Cyberbullying and Cyberagression in young adults

Externally funded research grants information

Project Title: Human Factors in Information Security Awareness.

Period: 6/18-10/18

Funding Body: Airbus UK

Role: Primary Investigator

Funding Amount:£35. 000

 

Project Title: TIN 3.245 Users’ Reactions to Failures and Frustrations Within Cyber Environments.

Period: 10/17-1/18

Funding Body: DSTL/BAE Systems

Role: Co-Investigator

Funding Amount:£49, 000 (Total DMU amount £29, 960

 

Project Title: TIN 2.106 Turned On, Tuned In, Dropped Out: The Impact of Ever Present Technology on Human Behaviour and Decision Making.

Period:11/16-3/17

Funding Body: DSTL/BAE Systems

Role: Co-Investigator

Funding Amount: £29, 885 

 

Project Title: Exploring the Psychology of Ransomware Splash Screens

Period: 4/17-7/17

Funding Body: Sentinel One/Eclat Marketing

Role: Primary Investigator

Funding Amount:£17, 000

 

Project Title: Understanding the role of Human Factors in a Virtual Cyber Centre of Operations (V-CCO)

Period: 1/16-3/16

Funding Body:Airbus UK

Collaborative Partners:Airbus UK

Role:Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £12,000

 

Project Title: Exploring the Use of Gamification in the context of Cybersecurity (3 Month Secondment at 0.5 FTE)

Period: 10/15-12/15

Funding Body:Airbus UK

Collaborative Partners:Airbus UK

Role:Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £35, 000

 

Project Title: Secure Remote Working in the Supply Chain

Period: 03/15-06/16

Funding Body:TSB (Innovate UK)

Collaborative Partners:ThinkingSafe Limited, Royal Holloway, 2iC, Warwick WMG.

Lead Partner: ThinkingSafe Limited

Role:Co-Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £500, 000

 

Project Title: Automated CyberDefence Analysis Engine

Period: 1/15-3/15

Funding Body:CDE Themed Bid 37609

Collaborative Partners:ThinkingSafe Limited, Warwick WMG

Role:Co-Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £100, 000

 

Project Title: Host-based Threat Detection: Automated threat detection using novel behavioural threat indicators.

Period: 1/14-8/14

Funding Body:CDE Themed Bid 34941

Collaborative Partners:ThinkingSafe Limited, Warwick WMG

Role:Co-Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £100, 000

 

Project Title: Cognitive and Behavioural Concepts of Cyberactivities: Information processing of Online Content

Period: 1/14-8/14

Funding Body:DSTL/BAE Systems Tin 3.040, Task 3

Role:Primary Investigator

Funding Amount: £35, 000

Internally funded research project information


 

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