Warnings in Plain English—but if no one reads them, will they help?

This blog post is in reaction to the USENIX/Google research titled “Alice in Warningland: A Large-Scale Field Study of Browser Security Warning Effectiveness.”

https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity13/technical-sessions/presentation/akhawe

The overarching questions I have are:

1) how and when should the notifications be displayed to users and
2) how should the notifications be written

For additional commentary on how Google Chrome is reacting to the findings from the research, see the WeLiveSecurity post Google Chrome security warnings – now in plain English.

It would be interesting to see the results of clickthrough rates with antivirus dialogs when combined with the browser dialogs. Users don’t purchase/use a web browser to have dialog warnings as a primary feature, but an argument can be made that by purchasing antivirus these users prefer an extra layer of security and additional warnings/notifications – this could inform whether this will impact if those users visit more malicious sites. As the study indicated as a limitation, we need to “consider user behaviors that are indicative of attention to warnings” (258). Continue reading

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Rhetorical & #TechComm Analysis of AT&T “CPNI” Opt-Out Email

As I have mentioned in previous posts (analysis of hacking responses and Kickstarter PR response), as more PR and marketing communications concern technical issues (either directly regarding a technology or technological information about a product or service) there is a need for writers who can write both technical and rhetorically — that is, knowing not just what to say but how and where.

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Rhetorical & #TechComm Analysis of Kickstarter “hacking” response

What happened?

“Important Kickstarter Security Notice”

https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/important-kickstarter-security-notice

What happened in summary?

  • Last week on Wednesday (this date is relevant) Kickstarter’s website was hacked and users’ personal data was stolen. Kickstarter released a PR statement regarding the security incident on Saturday (yes, 3 days later, on a holiday weekend) with recommended instructions that users should take.

Why am I writing about this?

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My digital workflow as a Master’s and PhD #Techcomm student

This post is a long time coming. I began compiling a list of the technologies I used and how I implemented them while in my Master’s of Technical Communications program last year.

First my thesis took all my time and I was unable to make many blog posts and then just as quick I was accepted into and began a PhD in Technical Communication & Rhetoric. I had planned to write a blog post about why I chose to pursue the PhD (and the end of the previous sentence is a perfect place to hyperlink to it). However, as the next semester begins for many (including me), I thought it would be more useful to post the digital workflow that helped me earn my Master’s with a 4.0, be accepted into a PhD program, and earn an A in my first PhD course.

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ferswriteshoe 2013 blog stats in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Master of Arts, English Thesis: Ethics in #TechComm Graduate Programs

The purpose of this post is to provide some of the content for my thesis that I completed July 2013. The full text of my thesis is available through ProQuest (UMI):

http://search.proquest.com/docview/1448886102

The programs that were included in my study are the following: Auburn University; James Madison’s MA and MS programs; Mercer; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Montana Tech of the University of Montana; New Jersey Institute of Technology; North Dakato State University; University of Wisconsis-Stout; West Virginia University.

Thesis Abstract:

In this research, I performed a content analysis of the required courses in technical and professional communication (TPC) graduate course syllabi to investigate the prevalence of ethics-related materials included in course instruction. The content analysis for my research included collecting the syllabi of required courses from a sample of TPC graduate programs, and coding for the occurrence of journal articles and textbook chapters that included the word “ethics” in the title, summary, or keywords. My findings show that on average Continue reading

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Rhetorical & #TechComm Analysis of Adobe, Avast, Avira, & AVG “hacking” responses

What happened?

Avira and AVG: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2053380/network-solutions-investigating-dns-hijack.html
Avast: http://grahamcluley.com/2013/10/vigilance-avast-anti-virus-website-pwned/
Adobe: http://rt.com/usa/adobe-hacked-krebs-hold-742/

What happened in summary?

  • In the past week, several companies’ websites were “hacked”* including the security companies AVG and Avira, and the same attempt made on Avast. The hack made on Adobe was not the same as the previous three but because it occurred during this same time and was a result of hacking, I have included it in this post. Whatsapp was also hacked but I have not included them in this post.

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