Stories or statistics: How do we tell the public about cybersecurity risks and get support?

  By Dr Zhuo Hu, Dr Adrian Banks, Dr Irina Cojuharenco (University of Surrey)                                                                       As introduced in a previous blog post ( see brief overview of the AP4L project ) individuals experiencing life transitions become highly vulnerable and may neglect their online safety and privacy during these challenging periods.  The AP4L project is committed to supporting people undergoing significant life transitions to be safer online.  We acknowledge that the public should also get involved in our work to support people collectively, whether it involves donating to support events promoting cybersecurity risk awareness, taking part in the design of educational materials or, sharing best practice.  Behavioural science to date suggests that communicating risks with emotional narrative accounts of the experiences of victims of possible harms evokes more help than describing risks using “cold” statistics (Bakker et al., 2019; Lee & F

Engaging with hard-to-reach and potentially vulnerable participants in the AP4L Project

By Dr. Ryan Gibson and Prof. Wendy Moncur Introduction AP4L’s overarching goal is to develop privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) that support people undergoing a significant life transition to be safer online. The first step in building PETs that make a real difference is to understand what these people do online and the subsequent challenges they face. Central to this process is the involvement of participants from the four populations we are exploring in AP4L - Leaving the Armed Forces; LGBTQIA+; Living with Cancer; Relationship Breakdown – who can share their lived experience of transitioning online.  These experiences may then be translated into design requirements for the development team to generate PETs that more accurately reflect the transition activities being conducted online and the related privacy risks and harms that people encounter.  Nevertheless, designing and recruiting for research involving people who have undergone a life transition is extremely difficult. For
  Public Involvement in Privacy (PIP) panel – what is it and how does it work ?   As highlighted in last month’s blog, the PIP panel is based on a model of public involvement that we have adapted from similar gold-standard practices in health and social care research (UK Standards for Public Involvement, National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), 2019):   The standards highlight what high-quality public involvement should look like and ensures good practice when involving members of the public in research and a range of other activities. At their very core, the standards recommend involving people with relevant lived experience, and other research stakeholders as partners alongside the academic research team. The PIP panel exists within the AP4L project to ensure that those with lived experience or relevant life transitions are involved from the outset and are meaningfully
Welcome to the first of our monthly AP4L bulletins! AP4L has reached the halfway mark now in the three year process, and with some exciting developments already under our belts, and many more to come, we wanted to share our progress with you.  Each month we will be sharing with you some of our outputs, developments and latest news from a different area of the project. This month, I am going to give you an overview of AP4L, and next month, we will share more on our Public Involvement in Privacy (PIP) Panel, which is proving to be a pivotal part of AP4L.  So, what is the AP4L project all about? Well, sometimes, life “just happens”. Be it divorce, being diagnosed with a serious illness, leaving the armed forces, or deciding to come out as gay or transitioning gender, these moments in time can be very emotional, distressing and people do not typically have the “bandwidth” to stop and consider their online safety and privacy during these difficult life transitions.  In the case of a relatio