Human Factors in Cybersecurity and Privacy

Research Areas: Human Centric Security

Principal Investigator: Robert Proctor

This research focuses on human aspects of cybersecurity and privacy assurance.  We have performed studies on decision making in app selection, with a specific focus on how to display risk information and increase the weighting that users will give to it when choosing between alternative apps.  We also have performed studies of the process involved in deciding whether to enter personal information into a fraudulent, phishing webpage. We have studied the influence of warnings, training, and domain highlighting. Finally, we have conducted studies on the usability and security of different password-generation mnemonic strategies, as well as the memorability of the generated passwords.


Other PIs: Ninghui Li

Students: Aiping Xiong Scott Moore Isis Chong De La Cruz Wanling Zou

Representative Publications

  • Chen, J., Gates, C. S., Li, N., & Proctor, R. W. (2015). Influence of risk/safety information framing on Android app-installation decisions. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 9, 149–168.


  • Yang, W., Li, N., Chowdhury, O., Xiong, A., & Proctor, R. W. (2016). An empirical study of password generation strategies. Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2016).


Keywords: Cybersecurity, deception, decision making, human-computer interaction, passwords, phishing attack, risk