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Journal of Forensic & Investigative Accounting



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Digital fraud, authentication, perceptions gap, big data, end user perceptions, financial services industry


Management Information Systems


Perceptions of the security and efficacy of technological innovations significantly affect behavioral intentions and the eventual diffusion of such innovations in organizations and the broader society. This paper uses Twitter as a data source and a big data analysis tool to investigate the public’s perceptions of current authentication methods in financial institutions. This data source has not been used previously in the literature to examine perceptions of authentication methods. We focus on the financial sector because of its high vulnerability, the extensive use of information technology in both products and value chain (i.e., its high business information intensity), and the widespread use of online financial services by both businesses and individuals across geographic and political boundaries. Further, while cybercrime affects all industries, the global financial services industry is hit the hardest. Our investigation finds that the public perceives authentication based on tokens and other possessions more positively than either passwords or biometrics. We also uncovered an expectation gap in the perceptions about the efficiency and effectiveness of different authentication methods. The article suggests that the public perceives all authentication methods to offer the same degree of protection against identity theft and digital fraud. Research can further explore this gap to understand the implications for effective security practices at the end-user level and the potential cascading effects across networks.


This article was published in the Journal of Forensic & Investigative Accounting, volume 9, issue 2, 2017. This article was posted with permission from the editor.