Dr. H. Raghava Rao, US-based scholar of Information Systems Management, who occupies the AT&T Chair at University of Texas, San Antonio, USA, recently delivered a talk on ‘Phishing & Cyber Security’ at MYRA School of Business in city.
Dr. Rao, who is currently involved in conducting research on information security and safety, spoke about various ways in which information is prone to theft online. Specifically talking about ‘phishing,’ the common term for the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, Dr. Rao threw light on several aspects including the psychology of risk. He also mentioned the ‘bounded rationality’ theory of Herbert Simon as well as the ‘Prospect Theory’ propounded by Kahnemann and Tversky. These theories give the contextual framework which helps one understand how humans evaluate risks and take decisions.
Dr. Rao then explained Cialdini’s theories on psychology of persuasion by explaining the six principles of influence reciprocity, commitment/consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity.
He also explained how phishers use these six means to persuade gullible people to share sensitive information with them.