Getting IT Security Out of the "Nerdy Corner"

In order for IT security to work, it should be understandable for everyone and easy to integrate into daily routines.

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Copyright: RUB, Marquard

How convenient that more and more things can be done online - and how annoying that you have to deal with attacks by cybercriminals in the process. The behavior of many users makes it too easy for them. The aim of the project "Digital fitness for citizens - realistic risk perception, secure routines", or DigiFit for short, is to make it easier for them. Coordinated by Prof. Dr. M. Angela Sasse, a specialist in human-centered security at Ruhr Universität Bochum (RUB), the consortium aims to make IT security easier to understand and easier to implement. The project will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for three years starting in September 2022 with around 2 million euros.

Routines for Everyday Life
"Previous awareness campaigns, which are intended to ensure greater awareness of threats on the Internet, often already miss the users in terms of language," Angela Sasse has noticed. Within the project, the researchers want to develop a simple terminology that everyone understands. In addition, the aim is not only to become aware of the risks, but also to develop routines for everyday life that contain these risks. To this end, the researchers from computer science - in addition to Angela Sasse, Dr. Veelasha Moonsamy - are collaborating with a team from educational psychology led by Prof. Dr. Nikol Rummel.

The new approaches will be evaluated with different, mixed-age user groups. Materials and behavioral training created in the project will be disseminated by the researchers to specific target groups via group training sessions and via apps that function similarly to fitness or meditation apps. The content will also be published in social media through influencers and via group and online games.

Cooperation Partners
The RUB chairs for Human-Centered Security, for Systems Security and for Educational Psychology are involved. Other partners are the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, AWARE7 GmbH, Gelsenkirchen, and IT-Seal GmbH, Darmstadt.

Press Contact 
Prof. Dr. M. Angela Sasse
Chair for Human-Centered Security
Faculty of Computer Science
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Tel.: +49 234 32 25028
E-Mail: Martina.Sasse(at)

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