Towards Improving Mental Models of Personal Firewall Users

Fahimeh Raja ; Kirstie Hawkey ; Konstantin Beznosov

05 February 2009

Abstract: Windows Vista’s personal firewall provides its diverse users with a basic interface that hides many operational details. However, our study of this interface revealed that concealing the impact of network context on the security state of the firewall results in mental models that are unclear about the protection provided by the firewall resulting in an inaccurate understanding of the firewall configuration. We developed a prototype to support more contextually complete mental models through inclusion of network context information. Results from our initial evaluation of the prototype support our approach of improving user understanding of underlying system states by revealing hidden context, while considering the tension between complexity of the interface and security of the system.

Keyword(s): Usable security ; firewall ; configuration ; mental model

Published in: Fahimeh Raja, Kirstie Hawkey, and Konstantin Beznosov, "Towards Improving Mental Models of Personal Firewall Users," in Proceedings of CHI 2009 (Work in Progress), Boston, USA, 4-9 April, 2009, 6 pages.:

The record appears in these collections:
Usable Security

 Record created 2009-04-27, last modified 2013-05-22

Transfer from CDS 0.99.7:
Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)