Reading this May Harm Your Computer: The Psychology of Malware Warnings
University of Exeter; University of Cambridge
Ross J. Anderson
Cambridge University Computer Laboratory
January 3, 2014
Internet users face large numbers of security warnings, which they mostly ignore. To improve risk communication, warnings must be fewer but better. We report an experiment on whether compliance can be increased by using some of the social-psychological techniques the scammers themselves use, namely appeal to authority, social compliance, concrete threats and vague threats. We also investigated whether users turned off browser malware warnings (or would have, had they known how).
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: malware, persuasion, human computer interaction, psychology
Date posted: January 5, 2014 ; Last revised: October 3, 2014
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