Cyberethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in Umhlathuze municipality

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Zululand
Cyber technology has become a basic aspect of schools and universities, with students' habitual use of these tools to communicate, learn, and play. However, schools and universities have faced numerous issues as a result of cyber ethics activities in various settings. This study has examined the cyber ethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. The objectives of this study were to: explore the level of awareness of cyber ethical behaviour prevalent at the selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality; identify the forms of cyber ethics behaviour shown by the selected high school students; demonstrate the application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) on cyber ethical behaviour intentions of high school students and establish the challenges faced by high school students to act ethically when using the Internet and cyber technologies. The study adopted a quantitative approach through survey research design. Probability sampling was used to sample students through the simple random technique. A sample for the study was drawn from Grade 11 students from three conveniently selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. 214 questionnaires were distributed among Grade 11 students. Data was collected through questionnaires. The data analyses were carried out largely using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 28.0. The findings of the study show that 68.2% of the respondents were aware of their cyber ethical behaviour. Less than half (68;31,8%) of the respondents showed less awareness. A high percentage of the respondents (82,7%) said that their teachers hardly teach them about cyber ethics. The respondents submitted that cyberbullying (57%), using another user’s password (16,4%) and dissemination of fake news (8.4%) are the common types of cyber ethical transgressions. The study discovered a substantial number of challenges related to effective cyber ethical behaviour. The findings indicated a need for awareness of cyber ethical technology and how to mitigate its misuse. This study's originality stems from its scope, subject matter, and application. The study is significant because it provides a theoretical basis for future studies in the following areas: high schools in the uMhlathuze municipality, the levels of awareness of teachers and principals pertaining to cyber ethics. The study has implications for cyber ethical technologies and cyber ethical behaviour in high schools’ research and responses by stakeholders.
Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts in accordance with the requirements for the master’s degree in library and information science in the Department of Library and Information Studies, at the University of Zululand, 2022.