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Security design based on social and cultural practice: sharing of passwords

Singh, S., Cabraal, A., Demosthenous, C., Astbrink, G., Furlong, M.,

Academic Literature


We draw on a qualitative study of 108 people to examine the routine sharing of passwords for online banking among married and de facto couples, Aboriginal users and people with disability in Australia. The sharing of passwords goes against current banking authentication systems and consumer protection laws that require customers not to reveal their access codes to anybody, including family members. The everyday violation of these security requirements results from the lack of fit between security design and social and cultural practice, rather than a lack of security awareness. We argue for the need to go beyond individualistic user-centered design, so that social and cross-cultural practices are at the centre of the design of technologies. The need for a social and culturally centered approach to design is even more important when dealing with different notions of privacy across cultures and a culture of shared use in public and private spaces.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Safety and security, Transport and communication

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