A Comparison of American and German Folk Models of Home Computer Security

  • Michaela Kauer
  • Sebastian Günther
  • Daniel Storck
  • Melanie Volkamer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8030)


Although many security solutions exist, home computer systems are vulnerable against different type of attacks. The main reason is that users are either not motivated to use these solutions or not able to correctly use them. In order to make security software more usable and hence computers more secure, we re-ran the study by Wash about “Folk Models of Home Computer Security” in Germany. We classified the different mental models in eleven folk models. Eight of the identified folk models are similar to the models Wash presented. We describe each folk model and illustrate how users think about computer security.


(ACM classification)H.5.2 Information Interfaces and Presentation: User Interfaces evaluation/methodology user-centered design H.5.3 Information Interfaces and Presentation: Group and Organization Interfaces collaborative computing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michaela Kauer
    • 1
  • Sebastian Günther
    • 1
  • Daniel Storck
    • 1
  • Melanie Volkamer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ErgonomicsTechnische Universität DarmstadtGermany

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