Author ORCID Identifier
Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Given the rapid growth of social media and the increasing prevalence of spam, it is crucial to understand users’ interactions with unsolicited content to develop effective countermeasures against spam. This thesis focuses on exploring the factors that influence users’ decisions to interact with spam on social media and email. It builds upon prior work, which serves as a foundation for further research and conducting a longitudinal analysis. Our results are based on the analysis of 221 responses collected through an online survey. The survey not only gathered demographic information such as age, gender, and race but also collected data on education, spam training, interaction with spam, and experiences of being a victim of spam. With about 87% of respondents stating they sometimes, often, or always encounter spam on social media, only 23% interact with it sometimes, often, or always before knowing it was spam, and 10% sometimes, often, or always interact with social media spam after knowing it was spam. Of the 75% of the respondents who stated that they sometimes, often, or always encounter email spam, approximately 13% of the respondents stated that they sometimes, often, or always interact with email spam before knowing it is spam, and 6%s stated that they sometimes, often, or always interact with email spam after knowing it is spam. Although only 38% of the users stated that they may have been victims of social media spam and 21% stated that they may have been victims of email spam. Among the factors analyzed, only age had an effect on reporting email spam, but not social media spam. A STEM education was found to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of both social media and email spam, as well as reduce the likelihood of interacting with both email and social media spam, but only before users knew they were interacting with spam. Interestingly, formal spam training did not show any statistical significance in determining how users interact with, report, or become victims of social media spam, although there was an effect when observing the identification of email spam. To quantify the effect of different factors on individuals falling victim to spam on social media and email, a logistic regression analysis was performed. The research findings suggest that individuals with a higher attained degree and a STEM background are the least likely to be victims of spam.
Mazurek, Wojciech M., "A Longitudinal Study of Factors that Affect User Interactions with Social Media and Email Spam" (2023). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 12069.