An investigation of high school learners using MXIT, and their attitudes towards mobile security.
This research encompassed an investigation of high school learners using MXiT, and their attitudes towards mobile security guidelines. The research was conducted across thirteen schools in the Pinetown, ILembe and Umlazi districts of KwaZulu-Natal. The literature review has shown that the majority of security guidelines and their successful use depend on education and awareness of what these security measures are. Secure use of mobile social networking sites such as MXiT are best regulated by parental awareness and monitoring of children‟s online habits. This needs parents to be abreast of technology, its uses and benefits, the associated dangers, as well as how to encourage and monitor usage. The research was conducted by administering questionnaires to grades 8 to 11 inclusive in the three districts of KwaZulu-Natal. Out of the 1300 questionnaires handed out to learners, a total of 856 completed questionnaires (66%) were received and analysed. It was found from the study that 89,5% of under age users that participated in this research are using MXiT. Users are also not fully aware of the security features when using MXiT. It has also been found that African respondents as compared with non- African respondents are less aware of the possible dangers in using MXiT, less aware that criminals can use fake IDs and pretend to be someone they are not, and less aware that people can get addicted to MXiT. Learners are aware of the dangers that can be associated with MXiT; however they are prepared to talk to strangers and meet new people online, thus exposing themselves to these dangers. In conclusion, there is scope to improve the security measures for MXiT users, and there is a need to improve the levels of education around using these security features.