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The Usability of File and Email Encryption Student: Tamam Alayed, Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Charles Frank, Computer Science. RESULTS:. RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Do majority of average people understand the concept of cryptography? Why cryptography is not used with emails?
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The Usability of File and Email Encryption Student: Tamam Alayed, Faculty Sponsor: Prof. Charles Frank, Computer Science RESULTS: • RESEARCH QUESTIONS: • Do majority of average people understand the concept of cryptography? • Why cryptography is not used with emails? • Are free cryptography products really too complicated for average people to use? • Can we make these products more usable by providing good instructions? PROBLEM STATEMENT: Our research seeks to understand the current usability situation of files and email encryption software. Particularly we focus in Gnupg4win encryption software and Thunderbird email application and the integration of them. The study was to find current problems in the following areas: Downloading the software and setting it up. Creating a key pair. Getting public keys published,. 4) Encrypting/decrypting files. 5) Encrypting/decrypting emails. We conducted user testing to find out whether people can easily use those software applications to encrypt files and emails. Chart1: “Do you sent encrypted emails that can only be read by the recipient?” Chart2: “Why do you think people are not using encryption tools to encrypt their emails?” METHODS: In this research we used standard user testing techniques. We conduct a survey to discover the reasons behind why people don’t use encryption tools. We also did some user testing to know whether people can benefit from using a simple good instruction for encryption tools. Chart3: “Would you try to use an encryption tool to encrypt your emails if you know that it has a simple good instruction to do that?” • The survey was published academically and over the online social network Twitter. • Filled by 148 persons with different age, nationality and backgrounds. FUTURE WORK: • Is it really important to encrypt our emails when we already know that almost all email providers uses SSL? • The usability of file encryption, focusing in TrueCrypt ,open-source disk encryption tool. SIGNIFICANCE: In this research, we wanted to know whether average people know the concept of encryption and why the majority of people don't encrypt their emails. We tried to determine if the reason is that people don't really need to use email encryption or if it is because email encryption is too complex. Previous researches claimed that the main reason behind this is the complexity of the encryption software. • CONCLUSION: • Cryptographically protected emails has been considered to be difficult to use for vast majority of people, not only because of the difficulty of the encryption tools itself but also due to people don’t see any need to use them for their emails because it’s just not necessary for the kind of emails that they send. • 55.24% of 148 persons in our survey answered “Yes” when they answered the question “Would you use an encryption tool to encrypt your emails if you have known simple instructions to do that”. • 25.45% of 148 persons reported that they don’t send encrypted emails because they don’t know how to use the encryption tools either due to the idea of the difficulty of encryption tools or the lack of good instruction to use it. • WORK CITED: • Alma Whitten and J.D. Tygar, “Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt: A Usability Evaluation of PGP 5.0” Proceedings of the 8th USENIX Security Symposium (Washington, D.C., Aug. 23-26, 1999), 169-184. • Steve Sheng, Levi Broderick, Colleen Alison Koranda and Jeremy J. Hyland, “Why Johnny Still Can’t Encrypt: Evaluation the Usability of Email Encryption Software”