Improving users' security choices on home wireless networks
Home networks are common but notoriously difficult to setup and maintain. The difficulty users experience in setting up and maintaining their home network is problematic because of the numerous security threats that can exploit poorly configured and maintained network security. Because there is little empirical data to characterize the usability problems associated with the adoption of wireless network security, we surveyed primary caretakers and users of 20 home networks, examining their perceptions and usage of the security features available to them. We found that users did not understand the difference between access control lists and encryption, and that devices fail to properly notify users of weak security configuration choices. To address these issues, we designed and evaluated a novel wireless router configuration wizard that encouraged strong security choices by improving the network configuration steps. We found that security choices made by users of our wizard resulted in stronger security practices when compared to the wizard from a leading equipment manufacturer.