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Considering the Usability of End-User Security Software
Furnell SM, Jusoh A, Katsabas D, Dowland PS
Proceedings of 21st IFIP International Information Security Conference (IFIP SEC 2006), Karlstad, Sweden, 22-24 May, pp307-316, 2006
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Security features can now be found in a variety of end-user applications. However, the extent to which such features can actually be understood and used by the target audience is often undermined by poor attention to human-computer interaction factors. This paper considers the problem, and highlights a number of common issues that can compromise the usability of security features in practice. The discussion evidences the problems by means of examples from well-known applications, as well as drawing upon the results from a survey of over 340 end-users, which benchmarks the extent to which some of the observed issues actually affect them. It is concluded that users can currently face real difficulties, but could be relatively easily avoided though better design and implementation of the features concerned.

Furnell SM, Jusoh A, Katsabas D, Dowland PS