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Attributes Affecting User Decision to Adopt a Virtual Private Network (VPN) App

Sombatruang, N; Omiya, T; Miyamoto, D; Sasse, MA; Kadobayashi, Y; Baddeley, M; (2020) Attributes Affecting User Decision to Adopt a Virtual Private Network (VPN) App. In: Meng, W and Gollmann, D and Jensen, CD and Zhou, J, (eds.) Information and Communications Security: 22nd International Conference, ICICS 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 24–26, 2020, Proceedings. (pp. pp. 223-242). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps to mitigate security and privacy risks of data transmitting on unsecured network such as public Wi-Fi. However, despite awareness of public Wi-Fi risks becoming increasingly common, the use of VPN when using public Wi-Fi is low. To increase adoption, understanding factors driving user decision to adopt a VPN app is an important first step. This study is the first to achieve this objective using discrete choice experiments (DCEs) to elicit individual preferences of specific attributes of a VPN app. The experiments were run in the United Kingdom (UK) and Japan (JP). We first interviewed participants (15 UK, 17 JP) to identify common attributes of a VPN app which they considered important. The results were used to design and run a DCE in each country. Participants (149 UK, 94 JP) were shown a series of two hypothetical VPN apps, varying in features, and were asked to choose one which they preferred. Customer review rating, followed by price of a VPN app, significantly affected the decision to choose which VPN app to download and install. A change from a rating of 3 to 4–5 stars increased the probability of choosing an app by 33% in the UK and 14% in Japan. Unsurprisingly, price was a deterrent. Recommendations by friends, source of product reviews, and the presence of in-app ads also played a role but to a lesser extent. To actually use a VPN app, participants considered Internet speed, connection stability, battery level on mobile devices, and the presence of in-app ads as key drivers. Participants in the UK and in Japan prioritized these attributes differently, suggesting possible influences from cultural differences.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Attributes Affecting User Decision to Adopt a Virtual Private Network (VPN) App
Event: Information and Communications Security, 22nd International Conference, ICICS 2020
ISBN-13: 978-3-030-61078-4
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-61078-4_13
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61078-4_13
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Human factors in security, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Discrete choice experiment (DCE)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118554
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