‘Normalisation of deviance’ is a term used by the sociologist Diane Vaughan to describe the pattern of rationalising unsafe behaviour. In terms of computer security, it has been applied to the way in which computer users frequently ignore security warnings. Despite the fact that people are aware that their computers are liable to be targeted by attackers or malware, the more used to ignoring warnings they get, the less they feel they need to pay attention to security warnings in the future. This is especially so if they frequently experience issues of false positive security warnings.


Last updated: 3 September 2017