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Dr Shirley Atkinson PhD MBCS

Research Student

Brief biographical information

shirley.atkinson@plymouth.ac.uk

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Risk Reduction through Technological Control of Personal Information

Abuse and harm to individuals, through harassment and bullying, coexist with Identity Theft as criminal behaviours supported by the ready availability of personal information. Incorporating privacy protection measures into software design requires a thorough understanding about how an individual's privacy is affected by Internet technologies.

This research set out to incorporate such an understanding by examining privacy risks for two groups of individuals, for whom privacy was an important issue, domestic abuse survivors and teenagers. The purpose was to examine the reality of the privacy risks for these two groups. This research combined a number of approaches underpinned by a selection of foundation theories from four separate domains: software engineering; information systems; social science; and criminal behaviour. Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, workshops and questionnaires gathered information from managers of refuges and outreach workers from Women's Aid; representatives from probation and police domestic violence units; and teenagers.

The findings from these first interactions provided specific examples of risks posed to the two groups. These findings demonstrated that there was a need for a selection of protection mechanisms that promoted awareness of the potential risk among vulnerable individuals. Emerging from these findings were a set of concepts that formed the basis of a novel taxonomy of threat framework designed to assist in risk assessment. To demonstrate the crossover between understanding the social environment and the use of technology, the taxonomy of threat was incorporated into a novel Vulnerability Assessment Framework, which in turn provided a basis for an extension to standard browser technology. . A proof-of-concept prototype was implemented by creating an Internet Explorer 7.0 browser helper object. The prototype also made use of the Semantic Web protocols of Resource Description Framework and the Web Ontology Language for simple data storage and reasoning. The purpose of this combination was to demonstrate how the environment in which the individual primarily interacted with the Internet could be adapted to provide awareness of the potential risk, and to enable the individual to take steps to reduce that risk. Representatives of the user-groups were consulted for evaluation of the acceptability of the prototype approach. The favourable ratings given by the respondents demonstrated the acceptability of such an approach to monitoring personal information, with the provision that control remained with the individual. The evaluation exercise also demonstrated how the prototype would serve as a useful tool to make individuals aware of the dangers.

The novel contribution of this research contains four facets: it advances understanding of privacy protection for the individual; illustrates an effective combination of methodology frameworks to address the complex issue of privacy; provides a framework for risk assessment through the taxonomy of threat; and demonstrates the novel vulnerability assessment framework through a proof-of-concept prototype.

Dr Shirley Atkinson

Director of studies: Dr Chris Johnson
Other supervisors: Dr Andy Phippen and Dr Peter Jagodzinski

Journal papers

Traceability in Model-Based Testing
George M, Fischer KP, Knahl MH, Bleimann U, Atkinson S
Future Internet, Vol. 4, Iss.4, pp1026-1036, 2012
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Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games: What’s the Risk?
Sanders B, Dowland PS, Atkinson S, Furnell SM
Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, vol. 3, no. 3, ISSN: 1941-8477, 2011
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Online Addiction: A Cultural Comparison of Privacy Risks in Online Gaming Environments
Sanders B, Dowland PS, Atkinson S, Zahra D, Furnell SM, Papadaki M
Journal of Multimedia Processing Technologies, vol. 1, no. 3, September, pp181-193, ISSN: 0976-4127, 2010
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Securing the next generation: enhancing e-safety awareness among young people
Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
Computer Fraud & Security, Volume 2009, Issue 7, pp13-19 , 2009
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Improving protection mechanisms by understanding online risk
Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Information Management and Computer Security, vol. 15, vol. 5, 2007
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5 Journal papers

Conference papers

The role of Visualisation in the study of Computer Programming
Alhammad S, Atkinson S, Stuart L
the Proceedings of the 27th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group - PPIG 2016, pp. 5-16, Cambridge, UK, 2016
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A Field Study on Linked and Open Data at Datahub.io
Heuss T, Fengel J, Humm B, Harriehausen-Mühlbauer B, Atkinson S
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Network Conference (INC 2016), Frankfurt, Germany, July 19-21, pp79-84, ISBN: 978-1-84102-410-3, 2016
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The Early Years Online
Atkinson S, Staunton T
EU Kids Online II Conference, LSE, September, 2011
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Bridging the gaps in model based testing
George M, Fischer KP, Knahl MH, Bleimann U, Atkinson S
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications (ITA 11), 6-9 September 2011, Wrexham, UK, pp 300-307, ISBN: 978-0-946881-68-0, 2011
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Emerging risks in massively multiplayer online role playing games
Sanders B, Atkinson S, Dowland PS, Furnell SM, Papadaki M
EU Kids Online Conference, Friday 23 September, New Academic Building LSE, 2011
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Barriers to E-Safety Peer Education: An analysis of teacher concerns
Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
Proceedings of E-Youth Conference, Antwerp, 27-28 May, 2010
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Online Addiction: Privacy Risks in Online Gaming Environments
Sanders B, Chen V, Zahra D, Dowland PS, Atkinson S, Papadaki M, Furnell SM
Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES), October 26-29, Bangkok, Thailand, 2010
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Risk culture influences in Internet safety and security
Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2009), Athens, Greece, ISBN: 978-1-84102-231-4, pp61-70, 2009
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Using peer education to encourage safe online behaviour
Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
EU Kids Online, London School of Economics (online proceedings), 2009
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E-Safety and E-Security: Raising security awareness among young people using peer education
Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the 8th Security Conference, April, Las Vegas, USA, 2009
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Mobile phones and schools: the development of a taxonomy of risk
Wood R, Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of 2007 World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education, pp6911-6919, Chesapeake, Canada, 2007
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Personal Privacy Threats: A taxonomy for risk assessment
Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of Second International Conference on Internet Technologies and Applications, 4-7 September, Wrexham, UK, ISBN: 978-0-946881-54-3, pp267-275, 2007
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Vulnerable Groups and the Impact of Technology upon Personal Privacy
Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2007), Plymouth, UK, ISBN: 978-1-84102-174-4, pp55-66, 2007
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Personal Privacy: Exploitation or Control through Technology
Atkinson S, Jagodzinski P, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the Sixth International Network Conference (INC2006), Plymouth, UK, 11-14 July, pp269-276, 2006
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Semantic Web: A Personal Privacy Perspective
Atkinson S, Jagodzinski P, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of The Internet Society II: Advances in Education, Commerce, & Governance conference, (Ed) Morgan, K., Brebbia, C.A, and Spector, J.M. WIT Press, Southampton, 2006
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15 Conference papers

Posters

Health Mobile Cloud Computing in the Developing Countries
Alqahtani N, Atkinson S
Proceedings of the 8th Saudi Students Conference, January 31 - February 1, 2015
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Protecting Society using the Semantic Web
Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Invited poster presentation to House of Commons Reception for Early Stage Researchers, 2007
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2 Posters

Internal publications

E-Safety in the Mobile Context
Legunsen A, Atkinson S
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 10, ISBN: 978-1-84102-358-8, pp128-135, 2013
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E-Security Awareness among Developing Nations
Ramar NBS, Atkinson S
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 9, ISBN: 978-1-84102-320-5, pp152-158, 2012
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Privacy Dashboard
Tyler-Dimond M, Atkinson S
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 9, ISBN: 978-1-84102-320-5, pp109-116, 2012
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E –learning and Password Games
Gardner R, Atkinson S
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 9, ISBN: 978-1-84102-320-5, pp95-103, 2012
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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Free e-Safety Software
Padmini DD, Atkinson S
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 9, ISBN: 978-1-84102-320-5, pp36-41, 2012
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Agile Limitations and Model-Driven Opportunities for Software Development Projects
Mairon K, Buchheit M, Knahl MH, Atkinson S, Furnell SM, Schreier U
Proceedings of the Sixth Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2010), Plymouth, UK, ISBN: 978-1-84102-269-7, pp43-51, 2010
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Introducing a Framework and Methodological Guidance for Model Based Testing
George M, Fischer KP, Knahl MH, Bleimann U, Atkinson S
Proceedings of the Sixth Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2010), Plymouth, UK, ISBN: 978-1-84102-269-7, pp1-10, 2010
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Limiting risks to personal privacy using the semantic web
Atkinson S, Johnson C, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the Third Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2007), Plymouth, UK, ISBN: 978-1-8410-2173-7, pp3-10, 2007
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8 Internal publications

Technical articles

Technology and the risk to personal safety
Atkinson S
Safe: The Domestic Abuse Quarterly, Issue 22, Summer, 2007
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Internet Technology - how safe is it?
Atkinson S
Safe: The Domestic Abuse Quarterly, Issue 16, Winter, 2006
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2 Technical articles

32 publication(s) - all categories.