AppMoD: helping older adults manage mobile security with online social help

Zhiyuan Wan, Lingfeng Bao, Debin Gao, Eran Toch, Xin Xia, Tamir Mendel, David Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid adoption of Smartphone devices has caused increasing security and privacy risks and breaches. Catching up with ever-evolving contemporary smartphone technology challenges leads older adults (aged 50+) to reduce or to abandon their use of mobile technology. To tackle this problem, we present AppMoD, a community-based approach that allows delegation of security and privacy decisions a trusted social connection, such as a family member or a close friend. The trusted social connection can assist in the appropriate decision or make it on behalf of the user. We implement the approach as an Android app and describe the results of three user studies (n=50 altogether), in which pairs of older adults and family members used the app in a controlled experiment. Using app anomalies as an ongoing case study, we show how delegation improves the accuracy of decisions made by older adults. Also, we show how combining decision-delegation with crowdsourcing can enhance the advice given and improve the decision-making process. Our results suggest that a community-based approach can improve the state of mobile security and privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Decision delegation
  • Mobile smartphones
  • Older adults
  • Security

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