|dc.description.abstract||The information age presents many fears of security threats to the integrity, confidentiality and availability of information systems and their associated data. Despite the advent of countermeasures, such as antivirus software, firewalls, security patches and password change control systems, amongst others, to protect information systems, online attacks have increased significantly. Vast sums are spent by both the government and business sectors on deflecting mechanisms and on cleaning up after online attacks, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and diverse (Gartner, 2009). The aim of this exploratory study is to determine the factors that influence online security and the current state of user awareness in South Africa amongst young adults. To guide this approach, Protection Motivation Theory (Rogers, 1983) was used as a conceptual framework.