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Using Visualizations to Enhance Users' Understanding of App Activities on Android Devices

Eze, Chika, Nurse, Jason R. C., Happa, Jassim (2016) Using Visualizations to Enhance Users' Understanding of App Activities on Android Devices. Journal of Wireless Mobile Networks, Ubiquitous Computing, and Dependable Applications (JoWUA), 7 (1). ISSN 2093-5382. (doi:10.22667/JOWUA.2016.03.31.039) (KAR id:67495)

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The ever-increasing number of third-party applications developed for Android devices has resulted in a growing interest in the secondary activities that these applications perform and how they affect a user’s privacy. Unfortunately, users continue to install these applications without any concrete knowledge of the breadth of these activities; hence, they have little insight into the sensitive information and resources accessed by these applications. In this paper, we explore users’ perception and reaction when presented with a visual analysis of Android applications activities and their security implications. This study uses interactive visual schemas to communicate the effect of applications activities in order to support users with more understandable information about the risks they face from such applications. Through findings from a user-based experiment, we demonstrate that when visuals diagrams about application activities are presented to users, they became more aware and sensitive to the privacy intrusiveness of certain applications. This awareness and sensitivity stems from the fact that some of these applications were accessing a significant number of resources and sensitive information, and transferring data out of the devices, even when they arguably had little reason to do so.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.22667/JOWUA.2016.03.31.039
Uncontrolled keywords: Smartphone Security, Privacy, Android, Data Visualization, Visual Analytics, App Permissions, Resources, Information Leakage, Human Aspects, Decision-Making.
Subjects: Q Science
T Technology
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Security Group
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 14:08 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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