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Improving the Usability of Security Features - a Survey of End Users
Adjei MO, Furnell SM
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security 6, ISBN: 978-1-84102-258-1, pp3-11, 2009
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Computer users today face a myriad of threats most of which are as a result of the Internet. The numbers of applications available to help combat these threats also exist in an equal measure. This means that end users are likely to encounter security events on a daily basis. This reiterates the need for usable and effective security applications to counter these threats. This paper presents the results from a survey conducted to sample the views and record the experiences of 46 end users over a 21 day period. Security related events were categorised into user initiated and system initiated events. Under these two categories, a total of 294 events were recorded. It was also found that out of the total of all user initiated events, 27% of them were not fully understood by the participants with 16% of the events were unable to be completed meaning that this number although willing to set protection on their systems, were unable to do so. Indeed this shows a serious problem in usability and has the possibility of presenting vulnerable systems that can be easily compromised.

Adjei MO, Furnell SM