One upside of video calls during the COVID-19 pandemic has been that I can attend or speak at virtually any location or event, without having to travel or move my schedule around too much. It’s helped me get more comfortable with public speaking, and exposed me to different audiences for my work.
In my latest public appearance: I appeared this spring with fellow CMU grad student Tom Magelinski at Bytes of Good Live, organized by Hack4Impact, a student-run nonprofit that promotes software for social good. We talked about our Social Cybersecurity research and what we know of careers in cybersecurity. The recording is available on YouTube, or click on the preview shown below to go to the video. Let me know what you think!
It has been a joy and fascination to help pilot and design research into a very different manifestation of internet-enhanced life than the one I know in the U.S., directed by lead author Hong Shen (also a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media) and with fellow HCII Phd researcher Haojian Jin and my awesome advisors, Laura Dabbish and Jason Hong. In China, you don’t have to go out with your wallet, just your phone! Even street vendors have QR codes for you to scan! Which gives rise to new forms of communication, such as attaching a message with a transfer equal to a penny! and new threat models, such as thieves coming in the night and replacing the QR code printout with their own!
And that was just from the pilot interviews. Read the preprint version of the paper for specifics on what my Chinese co-authors discovered when they conducted a survey (n=466) and interviews (n=12) in China about the advantages and the pitfalls of moving to a largely mobile and cashless economy.
I spoke up about my interest in the project in part thanks to Dan Grover, whose blogging (in English, thankfully 🙂 ) about his experience of working at WeChat as a product manager had piqued my interest in the various advances in the Chinese social media ecosystem. I couldn’t agree with him more in his tweeted responses to the EO on Thursday night:
If you’re a technologist and you still cling to the quixotic belief that we have a power to change the world with what we do, you have no excuse to let petty politics and nationalism stop you from learning from the best on every side of every divide.
I will present on Monday, Aug. 12, in Santa Clara, Calif., USA, about my creation of the SA-6 psychometric scale. This six-item scale is a lightweight tool for quantifying and comparing people’s attitudes about using expert-recommended security measures. (Examples of these include enabling two-factor authentication, going the extra mile to create longer passwords that are unique to each account, and taking care to update software and mobile apps as soon as these patches are available.)
Generally, I diligently follow a routine about security practices.
I always pay attention to experts’ advice about the steps I need to take to keep my online data and accounts safe.
I am extremely knowledgeable about all the steps needed to keep my online data and accounts safe.
I am extremely motivated to take all the steps needed to keep my online data and accounts safe.
I often am interested in articles about security threats.
I seek out opportunities to learn about security measures that are relevant to me.
Response set: 1=Strongly disagree, 2=Somewhat disagree, 3=Neither disagree nor agree, 4=Somewhat agree, 5=Strongly disagree. Score by taking the average of all six responses.
If you are a researcher who can make use of this work, please download our full research paper and cite us as follows: Cori Faklaris, Laura Dabbish and Jason I. Hong. 2019. A Self-Report Measure of End-User Security Attitudes (SA-6). In Proceedings of the Fifteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2019). USENIX Association, Berkeley, CA, USA. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29840.05125/3.
Many thanks to everyone who helped me develop and bring this project in for a landing, particularly Laura and Jason, Geoff Kaufman, Maria Tomprou, Sauvik Das, Sam Reig, Vikram Kamath Cannanure, Michael Eagle, and the members of the Connected Experience and CHIMPS labs at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Funding for our Social Cybersecurity project is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant no. CNS-1704087.