J5-3111 e@ser | Secure use of smart devices among the elderly: Towards education-based cybercrime prevention (Basic project ARRS)

Duration of the project:

1.10.2021 – 30.9.2024

Lead partner:

UM Faculty for Security Studies

Project partners:

UP Faculty of Health Sciences
UL Faculty of Computer and Information Science


Associate Prof. Simon Vrhovec (SICRIS, ResearchGate)


Associate Prof. Boštjan Žvanut (SICRIS, ResearchGate)
Assist. Prof. Patrik Pucer (SICRIS, ResearchGate)


The population in Slovenia and the European region is steadily aging. New technologies may support the well-being and enrich the everyday lives of the elderly. Smart devices and systems, such as wearable and mobile medical devices, ambient assisted-living technology, etc., are at the cutting edge of emerging technologies. The use of such devices inevitably results in an increased inclusion of the elderly in the cyberspace as smart devices are usually connected to a cloud account, mobile app or both. However, limited

proficiency and fears about cybersecurity may hinder the adoption of smart devices by the elderly. Although cybercrime threats related to the use of the internet are well-researched, little is known about cybercrime threats to the elderly related to the use of smart devices, their victimization, help-seeking and cybersecurity behavior with research on these topics being particularly scarce. Information technology training of the elderly (e.g., personal computers and smartphones) and cybersecurity training have been researched in the

past with intergenerational cooperation appearing to be especially beneficial. Nevertheless, very limited research focused on education related to use of smart devices other than smartphones and related cybersecurity training. The overall aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive strategy for prevention of cybercrime related to the use of smart devices by the elderly based on cybersecurity training by generating the knowledge necessary to develop smart cybersecurity training that will enable the elderly to learn how to

securely use smart devices and be adaptable to the varying needs of individuals. This project has a strong theoretical underpinning and will advance the state of the art in several ways to achieve its aim. The project

will first provide an analysis of the cybercrime threat landscape related to use of smart devices by the elderly. Next, the project will offer insights into the behavior of both the elderly by determining cybercrime-related factors associated with their adoption of smart devices, and caregivers by determining factors associated with motivation of caregivers to engage in cybersecurity training of the elderly. Finally, the project will deliver a novel prevention strategy for cybercrime related to the use of smart devices by the elderly that will include cybersecurity training recommendations, and an approach for smart adaptation of cybersecurity training to the characteristics of individuals (e.g., age group, living and health conditions). The project will engage cybercrime experts, elderly people, people working with the elderly, experts on intergenerational cooperation, and academic peers to ensure the practical value and ecological validity of project results.

Project »J5-3111 e@ser | Secure use of smart devices among the elderly: Towards education-based cybercrime prevention« is financed by the Slovenian Research Agency.