In order for security and privacy tools to work, they must be easily and intuitively usable—by everyone. With research spanning from developing tools that enable users to create strong and memorable passwords to automatically summarizing long, verbose privacy policies into readable, digestible chunks, Carnegie Mellon University CyLab researchers are focusing on ways to make security and privacy not feel like a hard task for users, but an easy, enjoyable experience.
Learn who at CyLab is working in usability and human behavior.
We have researchers working in the following subtopics of applications of security and privacy. Check out each of their research:
Why should we use password managers? We asked a security researcher.
The most common passwords in 2021 were (1) 123456, (2) 123456789, and (3) qwerty. We sat down with a CyLab researcher to better understand why password managers are such useful tools in securing our accounts, and why more of us should use them.
CyLab researchers design privacy icon to be used by California law
The state of California has proposed an official icon to include next to opt-out text—a blue stylized toggle icon developed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab and the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Users may begin seeing the new stylized icon at the bottom of websites’ footers early next year.
IoT labels will help consumers figure out which devices are spying on them
A team of CyLab researchers have developed a prototype security and privacy “nutrition label” that performed well in user tests. To develop the label, the team consulted with a diverse group of 22 security and privacy experts across industry, government, and academia.
Security and privacy need to be easy
In 2005, Carnegie Mellon hosted a first-of-its-kind conference that brought together researchers from dozens of universities and companies around the world with one mission: make privacy and security tools easier to use. That conference, the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS), is holding its 15th annual meeting next month. SOUPS, as well as the entire usable privacy and security field, have deep roots at CMU.
NSF awards $1.2M to create a digital assistant to answer people’s privacy questions
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $1.2 million grant to a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Fordham University, and Penn State University to develop a tool—a “privacy assistant”—that will allow users to simply ask questions about the privacy issues that matter to them.
BUYER UNAWARE: Security and privacy rarely considered before buying IoT devices
In a study presented at the ACM CHI conference in Glasgow earlier this month, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab found that security and privacy risks may not be on the list of considerations when consumers purchase new IoT devices.
Blame the tech, not the users
A recent study led by researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab found that when a personal device has fallen victim to some sort of cyberattack, users often misdiagnose what exactly is going on–but they’re not the ones to blame.
CyLab’s Lorrie Cranor and her student Blase Ur win top SIGCHI awards
Lorrie Cranor, a professor in the Institute for Software Research and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, is this year’s recipient of the Social Impact Award from the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI). Cranor’s former Societal Computing Ph.D. student Blase Ur won the group’s Outstanding Dissertation Award.
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