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Checking, Nudging or Scoring? Evaluating e-Mail User Security Tools

Zheng, Sarah; Becker, Ingolf; (2023) Checking, Nudging or Scoring? Evaluating e-Mail User Security Tools. In: Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security. USENIX Association: Anaheim, CA, USA. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Phishing e-mail threats are increasing in sophistication. Technical measures alone do not fully prevent users from falling for them and common e-mail interfaces provide little support for users to check an e-mail’s legitimacy. We designed three email user security tools to improve phishing detection within a common e-mail interface and provide a formative evaluation of the usability of these features: two psychological nudges to alert users of suspicious e-mails and a “check” button to enable users to verify an email’s legitimacy. Professional email users (N = 27) found the “suspicion score” nudge and “check” button the most useful. These alerted users of suspicious e-mails, without harming their productivity, and helped users assert trust in legitimate ones. The other nudge was too easily ignored or too disruptive to be effective. We also found that users arrive at erroneous judgements due to differing interpretations of e-mail details, even though two-thirds of them completed cybersecurity training before. These findings show that usable and therefore effective e-mail user security tools can be developed by leveraging cues of legitimacy that augment existing user behaviour, instead of emphasising technical security training.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Checking, Nudging or Scoring? Evaluating e-Mail User Security Tools
Event: Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS)
Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Dates: 6 Aug 2023 - 8 Aug 2023
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2023/presen...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright is held by the authors. CC BY licence.
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 Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10171457
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