The Third Annual Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST 2005), October 12-14, 2005
human factors; privacy; risk; risk management; security; transparency; trust; usability; Web; Web browser; WWW
This paper describes an online survey that was conducted to explore typical Internet users' awareness and knowledge of specific technologies that relate to their security and privacy when using a Web browser to access the Internet. The survey was conducted using an anonymous, online questionnaire. Over a four month period, 237 individuals completed the questionnaire. Respondents were predominately Canadian, with substantial numbers from the United Kingdom and the United States. Important findings include evidence that users have tried to educate themselves regarding their online security and privacy, but with limited success; different interpretations of the term “secure Web site” can lead to very different levels of trust in a site; respondents strongly expressed their skepticism about privacy policies, but nevertheless believe that sites can be trusted to respect their stated policies; and users may confuse browser cookies with other types of data stored locally by browsers, leading to inappropriate conclusions about the risks they present.
The Third Annual Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST 2005) [Proceedings].