Case Study – Exploring Children's Password Knowledge and Practices

Yee-Yin Choong, Mary Theofanos, Karen Renaud, Suzanne Prior
2019 Proceedings 2019 Workshop on Usable Security   unpublished
Children use technology from a very young age, and often have to authenticate themselves. Yet very little attention has been paid to designing authentication specifically for this particular target group. The usual practice is to deploy the ubiquitous password, and this might well be a suboptimal choice. Designing authentication for children requires acknowledgement of child-specific developmental challenges related to literacy, cognitive abilities and differing developmental stages.
more » ... stages. Under-standing the current state of play is essential, delivering insights that inform the development of child-centred authentication mechanisms and processes. We carried out a systematic literature review of all research related to children and authentication since 2000. A distinct research gap emerged from the analysis. Thus, we designed and administered a survey to school children in the United States (US), so as to gain insights into their current password usage and behaviors. This paper reports preliminary results from a case study (part of a much larger research effort) of 189 children. The findings highlight age-related differences in children's password understanding and practices. We also discovered children having confusion between the concepts of safety and security. We conclude by suggesting directions for future research. This paper is work in progress.
doi:10.14722/usec.2019.23027 fatcat:ce75cosabfdvjnoxp4ymzkygpq