Debora Jeske, Lynne Coventry and Pam Briggs
A number of security risks are associated with the selection of wireless networks. We examined wireless network choices in a study involving 104 undergraduate social science students. One research goal was to examine the extent to which features (such as padlocks) and colours could be used to nudge individuals towards more secure network and away from open (unsecured) network options. Another goal was to better understand the basis for their decision-making. Using qualitative as well as quantitative data, we were able to differentiate groups whose decision were driven by security concerns, those who made convenience-based decisions, and those whose motives were unclear or undefined. These groups made different network choices, in part due to different perceived functionality of the padlock. We further observed significant effects for the use of colour when nudging participants towards more secure choices. We also wanted to examine the role of individual differences in relation to the choices individuals make. Perceived controllability of risk played a role in terms of the extent to which participants would make more secure vs. unsecure choices, although we obtained no significant group differences when we examined these variables in relation to the different decision justification groups. This indicates that perceived risk perceptions and reasons for decisions may relate differently to the actual behavioural choices individuals make, with perceptions of risk not necessarily relating to the reasons that participants consider when making security decisions.
Keywords: user perception; security; padlock; usability
Date: July 18, 2014
Presented: Socio-Technical Aspects of Security and Trust (STAST) Workshop, Vienna, Austria, 18 July 2014.
Publisher URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=6978923
Full Text: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6978923
Open Access: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/17998