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A practical usability evaluation of security features in end-user applications
Furnell SM, Katsabas D, Dowland PS, Reid F
Proceedings of the 22nd IFIP International Information Security Conference (IFIP SEC 2007), Sandton, South Africa, 14-16 May, pp. 205-216, 2007

The presentation and usability of security features can represent a significant impediment to effective protection for end-user systems. In order to investigate the nature and level of problems that can be encountered during attempts to use security within standard end-user applications, this paper presents results from a series of hands-on user trials from web browsing, word-processing, and email activities. The results are based upon structured tests involving 15 participants (representing a mix of general and advanced users), revealing that in many cases users appear to have difficulties understanding and performing baseline security tasks within the applications concerned.

Furnell SM, Katsabas D, Dowland PS, Reid F