We got the journal paper Only Play in Your Comfort Zone – Interaction Methods for Improving Security Awareness on Mobile Devices accepted for the Springer Journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (PUC). This paper has been written in cooperation with the Josef Ressel Center for User-friendly Secure Mobile Environments (u’Smile) of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and the Institute for Embedded Systems of the University of Passau, Germany. Part of the research presented in this paper has been conducted in the course of the project AUToMAte.

This paper studies the concept of security zones as an intermediate layer of compartmentalization on mobile devices. Each of these security zones is isolated against the other zones and holds a different set of applications and associated user data and may apply different security policies. From a user point of view, they represent different contexts of use for the device, e.g. to distinguish between gaming (private context), payment transactions (secure context), and company-related email (enterprise context). We propose multiple visualization methods for conveying the current security zone information to the user, and interaction methods for switching between zones. Based on an online and a laboratory user study, we evaluated these concepts from a usability point of view. One important result is that in the tension field between security and usability, additional hardware can support the user’s awareness towards their zone context.

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing publishes peer-reviewed international research on handheld, wearable and mobile information devices and the pervasive communications infrastructure that supports them to enable the seamless integration of technology and people in their everyday lives. The journal carries compellingly-written, timely and accessible contributions that illuminate the technological, social and design challenges of personal and ubiquitous computing technologies.