IFIP SEC 2018, Abstract of the talk

Usability Characteristics of Security and Privacy Tools: The User’s Perspective

Ioanna Topa and Maria Karyda
Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Greece

Abstract. Use of security and privacy tools is still limited for various reasons, including usability issues. This paper analyses usability characteristics of security and privacy tools by drawing on relevant literature and employing scenario-based questionnaires and interviews with 150 users to capture their views. Based on users' feedback, we analyse the role of usability characteristics and identify critical issues such as transparency, control of personal data, design and accessibility and consistency. This paper provides insights into the multifaceted issue of usability of security tools from the users' perspective and a comprehensive picture of users' needs and expectations. Some of the findings of this study show that users regard as important that security and privacy tools incorporate usability characteristics relevant to installation, design and accessibility, control and automation, visible feedback, and locatable security settings. Furthermore, users encounter problems with understanding technical terms and report that the availability of tools among smartphones and operating systems is a usability issue.

Keywords: Usability Characteristics, Security Tools, Privacy Tools.

The paper published in the IFIP SEC 2018 confeence proceedings by Springer Verlag