Effects of the Design of Mobile Security Notifications and Mobile App Usability on Users’ Security Perceptions and Continued Use Intention

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Information and Management

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The explosive global adoption of mobile applications (i.e., apps) has been fraught with security and privacy issues. App users typically have a poor understanding of information security; worse, they routinely ignore security notifications designed to increase security on apps. By considering both mobile app interface usability and mobile security notification (MSN) design, we investigate how security perceptions of apps are formed and how these perceptions influence users’ intentions to continue using apps. Accordingly, we designed and conducted a set of controlled survey experiments with 317 participants in different MSN interface scenarios by manipulating the types of MSN interfaces (i.e., high vs. low disruption), the context (hedonic vs. utilitarian scenarios), and the degree of MSN intrusiveness (high vs. low intrusiveness). We found that both app interface usability and the design of MSNs significantly impacted users’ perceived security, which, in turn, has a positive influence on users’ intention to continue using the app. In addition, we identified an important conundrum: disruptive MSNs—a common approach to delivering MSNs—irritate users and negatively influence their perceptions of app security. Thus, our results directly challenge current practice. If these results hold, current practice should shift away from MSNs that interrupt task performance.


Mobile device; Mobile security; Human–computer interaction (HCI); Mobile applications (apps); Perceived security; Dual-task interference; Mobile security notification (MSN)


Graphics and Human Computer Interfaces | Information Security



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