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"It was hard to find the words": Using an Autoethnographic Diary Study to Understand the Difficulties of Smart Home Cyber Security Practices

Turner, Sarah, Nurse, Jason R. C., Li, Shujun (2022) "It was hard to find the words": Using an Autoethnographic Diary Study to Understand the Difficulties of Smart Home Cyber Security Practices. In: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). 2022 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. . ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-9156-6. (doi:10.1145/3491101.3503577) (KAR id:92356)


This study considers how well an autoethnographic diary study helps as a method to explore why families might struggle in the application of strong and cohesive cyber security measures within the smart home. Combining two human-computer interaction (HCI) research methods - the relatively unstructured process of autoethnography and the more structured diary study - allowed the first author to reflect on the differences between researchers or experts, and everyday users. Having a physical set of structured diary prompts allowed for a period of 'thinking as writing', enabling reflection upon how having expert knowledge may or may not translate into useful knowledge when dealing with everyday life. This is particularly beneficial in the context of home cyber security use, where first-person narratives have not made up part of the research corpus to date, despite a consistent recognition that users struggle to apply strong cyber security methods in personal contexts. The framing of the autoethnographic diary study contributes a very simple, but extremely powerful, tool for anyone with more knowledge than the average user of any technology, enabling the expert to reflect upon how they themselves have fared when using, understanding and discussing the technology in daily life.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/3491101.3503577
Uncontrolled keywords: cyber security, Internet of Things, IoT, families, children, autoethnography, diary study, reflexivity, smart home, home
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
University-wide institutes > Institute of Cyber Security for Society
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2021 17:01 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2022 21:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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