Everything's Cool: Extending Security Warnings with Thermal Feedback

Graham Wilson, Harry Maxwell, Mike Just

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Citations (Scopus)


Today's web security warnings often rely on visual cues such as colour, e.g., red URL highlighting indicates a security risk. However, such cues often go unnoticed by users and, even when noticed, are ignored. Our aim is to investigate the potential for using other modalities to improve comprehension of, and adherence to, security warnings, starting with thermal feedback. Thermal stimulation has inherent links to emotion and danger, so may provide unique advantages over current visual cues. However, interpretation of feedback varies, so research is needed to measure associations. We used an online questionnaire (n=45) and lab study (n=12) to investigate whether people associate a particular temperature range with different states of web security. Our results indicate that people generally associate a cold temperature with a secure page and warm with an insecure page, findings we will take forward into future work on the effect of thermal feedback on security behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781450346566
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2017
Event2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Explore, Innovate, Inspire - Colorado Convention Center, Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017
Conference number: 35


Conference2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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