Luann Z. – BASIS Tucson North

Project Abstract

Smartphone users are increasingly downloading third-party applications to increase utility of their devices. However, these downloads and installations are also security and privacy risks as applications are given access to sensitive personal information. Smartphones have been shown to have flawed security systems concerning everything from warnings presented by operating systems, to license agreements and Terms of Use, to legal regulation of consumer privacy, and even misconceptions by users of their phones’ security situation. To develop more effective and secure mobile systems, we must first understand user attitudes and awareness towards security and privacy on smartphone platforms when downloading and installing applications. I conducted a survey on the University of Arizona campus, gaining insight on individual’s attention to and understanding of security and agreement messages, trust in official application repositories, and comprehension of security need and compare these perceptions across operating systems. This will help consolidate an image of the current condition of the user-software interface in the mobile sphere, potentially supporting the concept of a security complacency, where users do hold security in high regard, but do not take it into account when downloading applications or securing their device.

Tech Savvy: Security Awareness of Smartphone Users