Users' conceptions of web security: a comparative study
This study characterizes users' conceptions of web security. Seventy-two individuals, 24 each from a rural community in Maine, a suburban professional community in New Jersey, and a high-technology community in California, participated in an extensive (2-hour) semi-structured interview (including a drawing task) about Web security. The results show that many users across the three diverse communities mistakently evaluated whether a connection is secure or not secure. Empirically-derived typologies are provided for (1) conceptions of security based on users' verbal reasoning, (2) the types of evidence users depend upon in evaluating whether a connection is secure, and (3) conceptions of security as portrayed in users' drawings. Design implications are discussed.