Abstract In recent years, rapid progress in the use of the internet has resulted in huge losses in many organizations due to lax security. As a result, information security awareness is becoming an important issue to anyone using the Internet. To reduce losses, organizations have made information security awareness a top priority. The three main barriers to information security awareness are: (1) general security awareness, (2) employees’ computer skills, and (3) organizational budgets. Online learning appears a feasible alternative to providing information security awareness and countering these three barriers. Research has identified three levels of security awareness: perception, comprehension and projection. This paper reports on a laboratory experiment that investigates the impacts of hypermedia, multimedia and hypertext to increase information security awareness among the three awareness levels in an online training environment. The results indicate that: (1) learners who have the better understanding at the perception and comprehension levels can improve understanding at the projection level; (2) learners with text material perform better at the perception level; and (3) learners with multimedia material perform better at the comprehension level and projection level. The results could be used by educators and training designers to create meaningful information security awareness materials.