Human-Centered Security

Semester: 2019 Summer
For: Master
Format: Lecture
Credit Points: 5 CP

Master-level lecture covering concepts and advances of human centered IT security. Topics include the design, planning, execution, and statistical analysis of studies, basic research methodology, and recent advances in human-centered security.

Important Dates

  • 2019-04-09 14:00 - 17:00 | First Lecture (Room F107)
  • 2019-09-13 14:00 - 16:30 | Exam (Room VII 201, Königsworther Platz 1, Lecture Hall)
  • 2019-10-14 16:00 - 17:00 | Exam Review (Room A445, Welfengarten 1)


Weekly combined lecture & exercise on Tuesdays starting at 14:00 in Room F107, Welfengarten 1.

Course structure

Covered Topics

  1. Overview of the human-centered security and privacy field
  2. Introduction to HCI methods and the design of experiment
  3. Specific usable security and privacy topics


0 2019-04-09 Introduction
1 2019-04-16 Usable Crypto
2 2019-04-23 Privacy, Ethics & Bias
3 2019-04-30 Passwords & Experimental Design
4 2019-05-07 Experimental Design & Phishing
5 2019-05-14 Surveys
6 2019-05-21 Security Warnings
7 2019-05-28 IoT & Data Processing
8 2019-06-04 Permissions & Hypotheses
9 2019-06-18 Permissions & Hypotheses (II)
10 2019-06-25 Anonymity & Correlations
11 2019-07-02 Censorship & Data Visualization
12 2019-07-09 Security for Activists & Journalists


The exam date and rooms will be announced.

A second chance to take the exam will be offered next semester (winter). Bonus points from this semester are eligible for the next semester exam.

During the exam, you are allowed a double-sided, handwritten A4 paper and a non-programmable calculator. Additional scratch paper will be available.

Bonus Points

Bonus points for the lecture (equivalent to one grade step for the exam) are awarded for reading and summarizing a minimum of 8 out of 12 weekly announced research papers.

Further Reading

No textbook is required for this course, but the selection below can give you further insights into human-computer interaction and usable security and privacy research:

  • “Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction” by Jonathan Lazar, Jinjuan Heidi Feng, and Harry Hochheiser
  • “Engineering Security” (PDF) by Peter Gutmann
  • “Usable Security: History, Themes, and Challenges” by Simson Garfinkel
  • “Security and Usability: Designing Secure Systems That People Can Use” by Lorrie Faith Cranor and Simson Garfinkel