Brigham Young University researchers have confirmed that the more frequently users see security warnings on computers and phones, the more they ignore them.
The research represents the most complete study to date on the problem of habituation.
The study included a five-day lab experiment in which participants' neural and visual responses to warnings were recorded, as well as a 15-day field study of users interacting naturally with privacy permission warnings.
For the field study, each time subjects selected an app to download, a warning popped up that listed permissions the app requested, some of which represented threats.
Participants exposed to polymorphic warnings (which change in appearance) adhered to them 76% of the time at the end of the 15 days, while those who saw static warnings only followed them 55% of the time.
The team suggests system designers include warnings judiciously and add some visual novelty.
From Brigham Young University
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