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Towards Usable Updates for Smart Home Devices



Julie M. Haney, Susanne M. Furman


Smart home device updates are important tools for users to remediate security vulnerabilities and protect devices from future attacks. However, no prior research has been conducted to understand smart home users' perceptions of and experiences with updates. To address this gap, we conducted an in-depth interview study of 40 smart home users. We found that users experienced inconsistency in update transparency and methods, as well as confusion about how and if updates were applied. In addition, most users did not relate smart home device updates to security, so might not have been as inclined to install updates in a timely fashion. Our study is the first user-centered effort to explore smart home updates from both a usability and security perspective. We identify similarities to prior research focused on updates for other types of computing devices while discovering ways in which smart home device updates may be different or more challenging. Our results also inform the design of smart home update mechanisms and notifications to provide a more usable platform for deploying critical security patches when necessary.
Proceedings Title
Workshop on Socio-technical Aspects in Security
Conference Dates
September 17, 2020
Conference Location
Conference Title
10th International Workshop on Socio-technical Aspects in Security


security, updates, usability, smart home


Haney, J. and Furman, S. (2020), Towards Usable Updates for Smart Home Devices, Workshop on Socio-technical Aspects in Security, Guildford, -1, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created September 16, 2020, Updated December 4, 2020