IGF 2023 WS #536 Cyberpsychology-Tackling Human Behaviours Behind Online Harm

Organizer 1: David Moepeng, 🔒Cybersmart Botswana

Speaker 1: David Moepeng, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Peterking Quaye, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Nompilo Simanje, Civil Society, African Group


David Moepeng, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator

David Moepeng, Civil Society, African Group


David Moepeng, Civil Society, African Group


Other - 90 Min
Format description: The proposed format is a workshop,

Policy Question(s)

1. How can cyber psychology be adopted and applied in cybersecurity and online safety education and awareness programmes?
2. How do researchers from across the world collaborate to share knowledge and insights on emerging behavioural vulnerabilities?
3. How does cyber psychology become a mainstream discipline in the digital era?

What will participants gain from attending this session? The Workshop will feature presentations that seek to give participants an understanding of psychological and social factors driving behavioural online vulnerabilities and the possible remedies through psychological interventions.
The presentations and discussions will also aim to gain and give understanding on the effects on online harms on user psychological and social wellbeing.
Presentations will also outline roles of different stakeholders such as academia, researchers, psychologists and sociologists in tackling behavioural factors driving online harms.
They will also give guidance on ways cyber psychological can inform online safety interventions and awareness campaigns.


Human behavior driven cybersecurity vulnerabilities are increasingly receiving attention from cybersecurity professionals as they strive to strengthen interventions in a world facing mounting cyber threats.
As studies continue to suggest that people’s engagement with technology is mainly driven by psychological and social factors, there is increasing need for cybersecurity interventions that tackle these factors, as well as the effects of inappropriate use of technology on people’s psychological and social well-being.
Cyberpsychology is an emerging sub-disciple of psychology and cybersecurity, that seeks to gain deeper understanding of these factors and effects so as to inform the development of evidence based and effective interventions against online harms.
Cybercrime, hate crime and speech, cyberbullying, identity theft, internet and gaming addiction, pornography, child sexual exploitation, disinformation and misinformation are some of the common online harms that cyberpsychology seeks to tackle.
Universities around the world are therefore introducing cyberpsychology studies so as to promote research and development of knowledge on these issues.
Education authorities are also integrating cybersecurity awareness and digital citizenship in to their school curriculums so as to ensure that learners are taught safe and meaningful engagement with technology from an early age. Studies have indicated that cyberthreats are ever rising in Africa.
Could the answer to curbing online harms lie in cyber psychology? Through the proposed session on Cyber psychology-Tackling Human Behaviors Behind Online Harms, the African Cybersmart Network seeks to facilitate a forum for discussions on ways to advance deeper understanding of human behaviours online so as effectively tackle risky and harmful behaviours through targeted interventions.
Can cyber psychological approaches be adopted applied to reduce the susceptibility of internet users to online harms and how can this approach be applied? These will be the anchor question and the centre of the discussion.

Expected Outcomes

The sessions will inform an academic paper on the world view on cyber psychology and its significance to internet governance thought leaders. Follow up events will include international and regional conferences, training workshops for different stakeholders such as academia, cybersecurity awareness advocates, policy makers as well as technology companies.

Hybrid Format: The sessions will feature presentations on the following topics, and using case studies:
1)Introduction to cyber psychology and understanding the effect of digital technology on user psychological and social well being.
2) Human behaviours driving psychological, social and physical online harms.
3) Applying cyber psychology to tackle online harms
3) The role of stakeholders in advancing the application of cyber psychology in internet governance policies and programmes.
4) Interactive/Q&A session.