Where is the Digital Divide? A Survey of Security, Privacy, and Socioeconomics

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2016-11-03

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Abstract

The behavior of the least-secure user can influence security and privacy outcomes for everyone else. Thus, it is important to understand the factors that influence the security and privacy of a broad variety of people. Prior work has suggested that users with differing socioeconomic status (SES) may behave differently; however, no research has examined how SES, advice sources, and resources relate to the security and privacy incidents users report. To address this question, we analyze a 3,000 respondent, census-representative telephone survey. We find that, contrary to prior assumptions, people with lower educational attainment report equal or fewer incidents as more educated people, and that users’ experiences are significantly correlated with their advice sources, regardless of SES or resources.

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