Mobility Investigate

Improving Users' Security Choices on Home Wireless Networks

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Executive Summary

Home networks are common but notoriously difficult to setup and maintain. The difficulty users experience in setting up and maintaining their home network is problematic because of the numerous security threats that can exploit poorly configured and maintained network security. Because there is little empirical data to characterize the usability problems associated with the adoption of wireless network security, the authors surveyed primary caretakers and users of 20 home networks, examining their perceptions and usage of the security features available to them. They found that users did not understand the difference between access control lists and encryption, and that devices fail to properly notify users of weak security configuration choices.

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