Welcome to the Research Group SECUSO – Security, Usability and Society

The Security - Usability - Society research group - SECUSO is part of the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universität Darmstadt. The group was established in 2011 and is headed by Prof. Dr. Melanie Volkamer. SECUSO is affiliated with CYSEC and CRISP and was affiliated with CASED and EC-SPRIDE.


Our research interests are human factors in security and privacy. Our goals are to develop security and privacy awareness and education approaches as well as usable security and privacy preserving mechanisms. To achieve these research goals the research group is very interdisciplinary, i.e. the team contains people with backgrounds in computer science, math, psychology and communication science. In all our research, we apply a human centered security and privacy by design approach, i.e. identifying the user’s mental models and capabilities, iteratively develop and evaluate the corresponding approaches and mechanisms. Our application areas are:

  • Web security and privacy: Browser warnings, E-mail communication and Social Engineering
  • Mobile security and privacy: Permissions and Information flow
  • Verifiable e-voting: I-voting, Boardroom voting using mobile phones and e-Voting in polling stations
  • Authentication: Graphical passwords and PIN based authentication

Research Results

Our research results in publications, software, guidelines, as well as awareness and education concepts. The most recent results are:

  • PassSec+ - software to support users in protecting their data with Firefox
  • NoPhish - phishing awareness and education concept including Android app
  • TORPEDO - add-on for the thunderbird email client, to help users to detect phishing links in emails
  • EasyVote - concept and prototype as online service for complex elections

Further Results (Teaching)

  • Privacy Friendly Apps - collection of Android-Applications, which are optimized based on privacy. These Apps haven been/are being developed in the framework of SECUSO's programming lab (Usable Security and Privacy Lab) and therefore are part of SECUSO's teaching.

Funded Projects

Our research is made possible through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV), the German Research Foundation, Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) and through funding from the Horst Görtz Foundation as well as companies such as Micromata/Polyas. We received additional funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Currently, the following projects are funded:


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