A field study of computer-security perceptions using anti-virus customer-support chats

Mahmood Sharif, Kevin A. Roundy, Matteo Dell’Amico, Christopher Gates, Daniel Kats, Lujo Bauer, Nicolas Christin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Understanding users’ perceptions of suspected computer-security problems can help us tailor technology to better protect users. To this end, we conducted a field study of users’ perceptions using 189,272 problem descriptions sent to the customer-support desk of a large anti-virus vendor from 2015 to 2018. Using qualitative methods, we analyzed 650 problem descriptions to study the security issues users faced and the symptoms that led users to their own diagnoses. Subsequently, we investigated to what extent and for what types of issues user diagnoses matched those of experts. We found, for example, that users and experts were likely to agree for most issues, but not for attacks (e.g., malware infections), for which they agreed only in 44% of the cases. Our findings inform several user-security improvements, including how to automate interactions with users to resolve issues and to better communicate issues to users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 May 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period4/05/199/05/19

Keywords

  • Computer security
  • Customer support
  • User (mis)perceptions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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