DOI: 10.3390/app132413237 ISSN: 2076-3417

A Study on Exploring the Level of Awareness of Privacy Concerns and Risks

Tommy Nguyen, Garnet Yeates, Tony Ly, Umar Albalawi
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

With the recent increase in phishing attacks and other kinds of malicious activities, increasing the awareness of security and privacy awareness is arguably one of the best proven ways of preventing these kinds of threats. The main challenge in security and privacy awareness is the end user’s awareness of aspects of privacy and security they give up when using the Internet. Thus, this study focuses on identifying and discussing the growing threats of Internet usage and the lack of privacy and security knowledge of the everyday person. This study presents the results of a survey conducted to determine discrepancies between what rights users think they sign away when they agree to terms of service versus what rights they actually give away. It is hypothesized that people are genuinely unaware of what rights they are giving up, especially since they are signing the terms of service without reading the fine print. In this study, the terms of service were presented to respondents, and they answered questions on what they thought they were giving up, but once they answered the questions, they were explicitly told whether they truly knew what rights they signed away. The experimental results of this study examine how much knowledge the everyday person lacks with respect to the privacy policies they sign. All of this is ultimately used to examine possible flaws in the system. The experimental results illustrate the results of the survey. Based on the total surveys completed, the average score was 62%. This means that out of 10 clauses described in a given terms of service document or privacy policy, people are truly unaware of at least 4 of these statements.

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