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dc.contributor.authorStory, Peter
dc.contributor.authorSmullen, Daniel
dc.contributor.authorYao, Yaxing
dc.contributor.authorAcquisti, Alessandro
dc.contributor.authorCranor, Lorrie Faith
dc.contributor.authorSadeh, Norman
dc.contributor.authorSchaub, Florian
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-26T18:32:40Z
dc.date.available2021-04-26T18:32:40Z
dc.descriptionProceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (2021)en_US
dc.description.abstractPrivacy and security tools can help users protect themselves online. Unfortunately, people are often unaware of such tools, and have potentially harmful misconceptions about the protections provided by the tools they know about. Effectively encouraging the adoption of privacy tools requires insights into people’s tool awareness and understanding. Towards that end, we conducted a demographically-stratified survey of 500 US participants to measure their use of and perceptions about five web browsing-related tools: private browsing, VPNs, Tor Browser, ad blockers, and antivirus software. We asked about participants’ perceptions of the protections provided by these tools across twelve realistic scenarios. Our thematic analysis of participants’ responses revealed diverse forms of misconceptions. Some types of misconceptions were common across tools and scenarios, while others were associated with particular combinations of tools and scenarios. For example, some participants suggested that the privacy protections offered by private browsing, VPNs, and Tor Browser would also protect them from security threats – a misconception that might expose them to preventable risks. We anticipate that our findings will help researchers, tool designers, and privacy advocates educate the public about privacy- and security-enhancing technologies.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Yuanyuan Feng and Linda Moreci for their assistance with our research. This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Secure and Trustworthy Computing program (CNS-1801316) and in part through a fellowship from the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon Universityen_US
dc.description.urihttps://petsymposium.org/2021/files/papers/issue3/paper33-2021-3-source.pdfen_US
dc.format.extent26 pagesen_US
dc.genreconference papers and proceedingsen_US
dc.identifierdoi:10.13016/m2gfvb-re4r
dc.identifier.citationPeter Story, Daniel Smullen, Yaxing Yao, Alessandro Acquisti, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Norman Sadeh and Florian Schaub, Awareness, Adoption, and Misconceptions of Web Privacy Tools, Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies ; 2021 (3):1–26, https://petsymposium.org/2021/files/papers/issue3/paper33-2021-3-source.pdfen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11603/21389
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherSciendoen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtThe University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
dc.relation.ispartofUMBC Information Systems Department Collection
dc.relation.ispartofUMBC Faculty Collection
dc.rightsThis item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/*
dc.titleAwareness, Adoption, and Misconceptions of Web Privacy Toolsen_US
dc.typeTexten_US


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This item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This item is likely protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Unless on a Creative Commons license, for uses protected by Copyright Law, contact the copyright holder or the author.