Users' conceptions of risks and harms on the Web: A comparative study

Batya Friedman, Helen Nissenbaum, David Hurley, Daniel C. Howe, Edward Felten

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In this study, we analyzed Web users concerns about potential risks and harms from Web use to themselves and to society at large. In addition, we assessed how strongly users felt something should be done to address their concerns. Seventy-two individuals, 24 each from a rural community in Maine, a suburban professional community in New Jersey, and a high-technology community in California, participated in an extensive (2-hour) semi-structured interview about Web security. Results show that Web users were primarily concerned about risks to Information, and secondarily about risks to People and Technology. Different sets of concerns were identified among the rural, suburban, and high-technology communities. Our discussion focuses on implications for interface design and information policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2002
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Apr 20 2002Apr 25 2002


OtherConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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