Billions of people currently use the Internet. Many Internet users share sensitive information through online services. Several secure data sharing tools have been developed to protect this sensitive information. A common practice in the design of usable security is to provide automatic data encryption that is transparent to users. We hypothesize that automatic encryption can decrease usability and comprehensibility, increasing the likelihood that users will unknowingly disclose sensitive information. This thesis presents Message Protector (MP), a novel Internet secure data sharing tool design that through manual encryption, purposely exposes technical details in a usable manner to increase usability and reduce mistakes. We have developed a rapid prototype that we used to evaluate MP usability via cognitive walkthrough and two usability studies. In the studies, we compared the MP prototype with existing secure data sharing tools. The results of the user studies demonstrate that MP design increases usability, user comprehension, and the likelihood of successful use.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Kim, Nathan I., "Message Protector: Demonstrating that Manual Encryption Improves Usability" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 3786.
Usable security, manual encryption