The COVID19 pandemic situation has opened a wide range of opportunities for cyber-criminals, who take advantage of the anxiety generated and the time spent on the Internet, to undertake massive phishing campaigns. Although companies are adopting protective measures, the psychological traits of the victims are still considered from a very generic perspective. In particular, current literature determines that the model proposed in the Big-Five personality traits (i.e., Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) might play an important role in human behaviour to counter cybercrime. However, results do not provide unanimity regarding the correlation between phishing susceptibility and neuroticism. With the aim to understand this lack of consensus, this article provides a comprehensive literature review of papers extracted from relevant databases (IEEE Xplore, Scopus, ACM Digital Library, and Web of Science). Our results show that there is not a well-established psychological theory explaining the role of neuroticism in the phishing context. We sustain that non-representative samples and the lack of homogeneity amongst the studies might be the culprits behind this lack of consensus on the role of neuroticism on phishing susceptibility.
Authors: P. López-Aguilar and A. Solanas.
Date of Publication: September 2021