My PhD research focuses on the way in which UK families engage with cyber security when using home Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
IoT devices are increasingly prevalent in the home, and the privacy and security of all people within the home must be considered of key importance. Parents often manage digital technology use within the household through restricting access or facilitating discussion about how the technology works or what it is doing. This works in cases where technology is used to access content or where the device is not designed to be available in the background at all times. Neither aspect is necessarily true of IoT devices in the home. This fact, coupled with a general lack of understanding about how IoT devices work, and the different types of risk that IoT devices pose in comparison to more traditional digital technologies, is the starting point of the research.
By determining the prevalence of devices in the home, how different family members use those devices, and what knowledge of cyber security those individuals have, I hope to expose specific needs in the improvement of device design, marketing or support; more targeted governmental policy, or regulation, where devices are used by both adults and children; and how best to address the need for further education, both for adults and children.
I am a member of the following research groups:
I am interested in how to mitigate the risks that individuals face when using digital technologies. I research how people use their devices, what they understand and don’t about them, and how they control privacy and security issues. In particular, I have an interest in how privacy and security is managed for users who do not own the device that they use – especially children.
I have written more about my current and past research at https://www.sarahlturner.com/projects/.