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Using Gamification to Improve Information Security Behavior: A Password Strength Experiment

Abstract : Information security emphasizes the importance of motivating end users to improve their security behavior towards protecting their private and organizational information assets. Password authentication is widely used as a user authentication method to safeguard information resources from unauthorized access. Despite its prevalence password best practice is not often followed and the use of weak passwords persist. Although password strength feedback mechanisms commonly aim to extrinsically motivate users to improve their password creating behavior, it is not yet clear how other methods, specifically gamification, influences security behavior regarding password creation behavior. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect gamification on user information security behavior, specifically regarding password creation. This study presents results from an online experiment of 232 respondents, who interacted with two different password strength feedback methods, namely a meter feedback method and a gamified feedback method using gamification points. A significant difference between the methods was found when measuring password strength using the number of guesses needed to crack the password, with the points method resulting in stronger passwords. The results of the study reveal that gamified feedback can lead to increased engagement and stronger password creation.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 15, 2019 - 2:55:36 PM
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Jacques Ophoff, Frauke Dietz. Using Gamification to Improve Information Security Behavior: A Password Strength Experiment. 12th IFIP World Conference on Information Security Education (WISE), Jun 2019, Lisbon, Portugal. pp.157-169, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-23451-5_12⟩. ⟨hal-02365726⟩

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