On the impact of warning interfaces for enabling the detection of Potentially Unwanted Applications

Vlasta Stavova, Vashek Matyas, Mike Just

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Abstract

We conducted a large-scale online study with 26,000 software installations during which we asked user (participants) whether they wanted to enable or disable the detection of Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs – potentially malicious software, such as adware or spyware). PUAs are notoriously difficult to manage, e.g., legal challenges can preclude default options that could otherwise be set for PUAs detection or removal. Our study was performed with an IT security software provider (ESET) who gave us access to the participants (antivirus product beta users). We used a between-subjects design with 15 conditions (a starting-point control interface, and 14 new "warning" interfaces). Despite the fact that many software companies (e.g., Microsoft, AVAST, AVG, McAfee, Kaspersky Lab) are struggling with PUAs detection, there are few studies focused on this topic.

Our results indicate a strong desire for PUAs detection by users. In particular, enabling PUAs detection was chosen by 74.5% of our participants for our initial control interface. Further, a modified interface in which the option to enable PUAs detection was presented first resulted in 89.8% of participants
choosing to enable PUAs detection (a statistically significant increase from the control).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of The 1st European Workshop on Usable Security
PublisherInternet Society
ISBN (Electronic)1-891562-45-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Event1st European Workshop on Usable Security - Darmstadt, Germany
Duration: 18 Jul 201618 Jul 2016
https://eurousec.secuso.org/2016/

Conference

Conference1st European Workshop on Usable Security
Abbreviated titleEuroUSEC 2016
CountryGermany
CityDarmstadt
Period18/07/1618/07/16
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction

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    Stavova, V., Matyas, V., & Just, M. (2016). On the impact of warning interfaces for enabling the detection of Potentially Unwanted Applications. In Proceedings of The 1st European Workshop on Usable Security Internet Society. https://doi.org/10.14722/eurousec.2016.23003