oa Meditari : Research Journal of the School of Accounting Sciences - The ability of students to convert their knowledge of IT concepts into IT competencies
The current syllabus (programme of education) prescribed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) emphasises that it is important for students to acquire knowledge and skills in interacting with information technology (IT). One of the basic IT skills identified by SAICA is the ability of students to apply controls to personal systems in order to ensure the processing integrity of IT resources and to ensure that IT resources are secure and properly safeguarded. The research questions investigated in this article are whether and where students acquire the knowledge and skills they need in using passwords as a control mechanism, and whether they actually apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired when they access information systems and networks. On the basis of a survey, the article concludes that there is a definite increase in the level of students' knowledge of which actions are considered to be good password practices from the time when they have recently matriculated to their third year. However, it is also clear from the results of the survey that these competencies are not yet being fully applied in the real-world arena of accessing online password-protected accounts.
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