Our paper based on family interview has been accepted by CSCW 2019!
“I Knew It Was Too Good To Be True”: The Challenges Economically Disadvantaged Users Face in Assessing Trustworthiness, Avoiding Scams, and Developing Self-Efficacy Online
In the U.S., consumers increasingly turn to the internet and mobile apps to complete essential personal transactions, ranging from financial payments to job applications. This shift to digital transactions can create challenges for those without reliable home internet connections or with limited digital literacy by requiring them to submit sensitive information on public computers or on unfamiliar websites. Using interviews with 52 families from high-poverty communities in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., we explore the compounding privacy and security challenges that economically disadvantaged individuals face when navigating online services. We describe the real, perceived, and unknown risks they face as they navigate online transactions with limited technical skills, as well as the strategies and heuristics they employ to minimize these risks. The findings highlight a complex relationship between participants’ negative experiences and their general mistrust of sharing data through online channels. We also describe a range of strategies participants use to try and protect their personal information. Based on these findings, we offer design recommendations to inform the creation of educational resources that we will develop in the next phase of this project.