Cybersecurity for the Elderly – Undergraduate Research Blog Post 2

The research project, Cybersecurity for the Elderly is a project dedicated towards ensuring the safety and protection of information for the elderly. With the rapid advancement of technology, and the ever growing need of it, the elderly find themselves struggling to keep up with this demand. One of the major aspects of this advancement in technology is the security of it; how well can information be protected. Yet, many of the elderly find it challenging to keep up with the requirements for security. One of the biggest issues being passwords, and the inability to keep of them. So the project is one that gives the elderly the opportunity to protect themselves better, while keeping up with the technological advances. The technologies that will help these elderly feel more secure about technology and their information is biometric scanners. What biometric scanners will do is allow the elderly to bypass the need for a string-based password, and replace it with their fingerprint, or voice activation.

Those working on the project have been able to gather data about how elderly people struggle with password security, and the data gathered has been very insightful. The average user of the survey was about 60 years old, and just about equal of between male and female. Besides these two general observations, there were also many other similarities between those who have participated in the research. For example, 60% of those who had taken the survey stated that it is difficult using a normal keyboard, and similarly over 45% of the individuals believe it takes them a while to type in their passwords. Another important piece of information is that 55% of those who took the survey somewhat agree that they would be willing to use security features more often if they were more easily accessible, and 45% strongly agreed. Finally, 45% of the testers strongly agreed that they would prefer to use a biometric scanner.

This information gives the researchers a great deal of insight into the effect of biometric scanners on the elderly. Initially, it states the elderly aren’t afraid of the biometric scanners. They seem interested in the idea and that it can definitely benefit their security and be potentially a lot easier than a normal string-based password. This is very beneficial because if the elderly are not afraid to adapt, then they will be more inclined to start using this technology on a regular basis, compared to every other day of use or maybe just once a day. Our research also shows that the elderly does also find normal string based passwords challenging, and a nuisance. Having to remember long strings with weird complexities can be challenging. Also, to have to type in these passwords can be straining and tough for the elderly. Finally, the fact that the elderly did find the use of the biometric scanner useful is great because this can lead to a wider use among the elderly. As this research progresses, the researchers expect to continuous stream of positive input from the elderly who are testing.

The research is in its early stage but it is definitely leaning towards a positive result. As more and more work is done with the elderly and how they’re use of technology, it will become evident that biometric scanners are the future. The benefits of such technology is obvious as it will help those who struggle with modern advancements much more easily, as well as making them feel secure.

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