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MFA is A Necessary Chore!: Exploring User Mental Models of Multi-Factor Authentication Technologies

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Title:MFA is A Necessary Chore!: Exploring User Mental Models of Multi-Factor Authentication Technologies
Authors:Das, Sanchari
Wang, Bingxing
Kim, Andrew
Camp, L. Jean
Keywords:Designing for Digital
human factors of privacy and security
mental models
multi-factor authentication
show 1 moreuser experience.
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Date Issued:07 Jan 2020
Abstract:With technological advancements, traditional single-factor authentication methods, such as passwords, have become more vulnerable to cyber-threats. One potential solution, multi-factor authentication (MFA), enhances security with additional steps of verification. Yet, MFA has a slow adoption rate among users, and frequent data breaches continue to impact online and real-world services. Little research has investigated users' understanding and usage of MFA while specifically focusing on the their mental models and social behaviors in a work setting. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 28 individuals (11 experts, 17 non-experts), while focusing on their risk perceptions, MFA usage, and understanding of required technologies. We identified that experts treated MFA as a useful added layer of authentication, while non-experts did not perceive any additional benefits of using MFA. Both non-experts and experts expressed frustration with MFA usage, often referring to it as a 'chore.' Based on these findings, we make several actionable recommendations for improving the adoption, acceptability, and usability of MFA tools.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Designing for Digital

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