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At-risk users

As technology continues to embed into everyday life, we are learning about substantial and diverse groups of users who---due to life circumstances---face a higher-than-baseline risk of experiencing a digitally-mediated attack or suffering disproportionate harm from such an attack. Technology factors into their experiences in ways that can empower them or contribute to harm. Insights from research involving these "at-risk" users helps improve safety for those who can be disproportionately targeted or harmed, but also get ahead of threats before they become widespread issues. Since 2015, I've worked with many amazing collaborators to better understand technology-related needs and experiences of at-risk users, and to share what we've learned broadly.

Overviews / Multiple populations

  • N. Warford, T. Matthews, K. Yang, O. Akgul, S. Consolvo, P.G. Kelley, N. Malkin, M.L. Mazurek, M. Sleeper, & K. Thomas, "SoK: A Framework for Unifying At-Risk User Research," Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy: Oakland '22, San Francisco, CA, (2022).

  • K. Thomas, D. Akhawe, M. Bailey, D. Boneh, E. Bursztein, S. Consolvo, N. Dell, Z. Durumeric, P.G. Kelley, D. Kumar, D. McCoy, S. Meiklejohn, T. Ristenpart, & G. Stringhini, "SoK: Hate, Harassment, and the Changing Landscape of Online Abuse," Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy: Oakland '21, San Francisco, CA, (2021).

Youth / Gen Z

Content creators / Influencers

People involved with political campaigns


People targeted with hate & harassment

Survivors of intimate partner abuse

Women in South Asia


People experiencing financial insecurity

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