Human-Centered Security

Semester:2019 Summer
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


12019-04-16Usable Crypto
22019-04-23Privacy, Ethics & Bias
32019-04-30Passwords & Experimental Design
42019-05-07Experimental Design & Phishing
62019-05-21Security Warnings
72019-05-28IoT & Data Processing
82019-06-04Permissions & Hypotheses
92019-06-18Permissions & Hypotheses (II)
102019-06-25Anonymity & Correlations
112019-07-02Censorship & Data Visualization
122019-07-09Security 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