James Simmons

Degree: BS

Advisor: Scott Ruoti

Email: jsimmo58@vols.utk.edu
Address: Min H. Kao Building, Room 339
1520 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-2250

James is a junior undergraduate here at The University of Tennessee studying computer science.

His current research focuses primarily on web security structures of the entire internet and how they change over time. More specifically, he is looking into how they correlate to the financial health of companies. James has an interest in politics, and this has sparked an interest in leading future research on the repercussions of security structures on a national and international level. He has an incredible amount of pride for the University of Tennessee, so James is always looking to add a little bit of UT orange to any work he does.


Abstract: Secure messaging tools are an integral part of modern society. While there is a significant body of secure messaging research generally, there is a lack of information regarding users' security and privacy perceptions and requirements for secure group chat. To address this gap, we conducted a survey of 996 participants in the US and UK. The results of our study show that group chat presents important security and privacy challenges, some of which are not present in one-to-one chat. For example, users need to be able to manage and monitor group membership, establish trust for new group members, and filter content that they share in different chat contexts. Similarly, we find that the sheer volume of notifications that occur in group chat makes it extremely likely that users ignore important security- or privacy- notifications. We also find that participants lack mechanisms for determining which tools are secure and instead rely on non-technical strategies for protecting their privacy—for example, self-filtering what they post and carefully tracking group membership. Based on these findings we provide recommendations on how to improve the security and usability of secure group chat.