Advancing the Understanding of Android Unlocking and Usage

Lina Qiu

02 May 2018

Abstract: Research efforts have been made towards creating mobile authentication systems to better serve users’ concerns regarding usability and security. While previous works have revealed real world smartphone authentication usage patterns, several aspects still need to be explored. In this research, we fill some of these knowledge gaps, including how age influences smartphone use. To this end, we performed a two-month long field study on a diverse North American study pool (N = 137). We examined how smartphone usage correlates with users’ ages, their choice of unlocking mechanisms (e.g., PIN vs. Pattern) and the types of activities they undertook while unlocking their phones. Study results reveal that there are indeed significant differences across age and unlocking mechanisms. For instance, older participants interacted significantly less-frequently with their devices, and for a significantly shorter amount of time each day. Fingerprint users had significantly more device sessions than other mechanism groups. In addition, we also observed that most participants regularly shared their devices with others, while they also likely underestimated the sensitivity of the data stored on them. Overall, these observations provide important messages for designers and developers of smartphone authentication systems.

Keyword(s): Smartphone Security ; Authentication ; Age ; Lock screen ; Field Study

Published in: Lina Qiu, "Advancing the Understanding of Android Unlocking and Usage", MASc Thesis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, May, 2018:

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 Record created 2018-06-04, last modified 2018-06-04

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