Usable Security and Privacy

Usability has emerged as a significant issue in ensuring the security and privacy of computer systems. More usable security can help avoid the inadvertent undermining of security by users. Indeed, without sufficient usability to accomplish tasks efficiently and with less effort, users will often tend to bypass security features.
In this project, we investigate human behavior to understand, how users interact with security and privacy mechanisms and tools, how they make decisions about their security and privacy and utilize the findings to design and develop computer systems with improved security and privacy.
This research is highly interdisciplinary by nature and involves both quantitative methods (such as surveys and controlled laboratory experiments) and qualitative methods (such as interviews and ethnography) and to understand the problems. We collaborate with social scientists (e.g., psychologists and anthropologists) to work on different aspects of usable security and privacy.