Protecting The Vulnerable: Dimensions of Assisted Digital Access

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A successful digital society is, in part, predicated on people having secure access to digitally-delivered services when they need it. It has long been recognised that parts of society are not able to access digital services without assistance, often as a result of economic precarity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of third and voluntary sector organisations in providing assisted digital access has come to the fore. As access to essential everyday services moved to digital-only and family and friendship networks of support became disrupted by the pandemic, for many, voluntary and third sector organisations were the source of digital assistance to claim welfare, pay bills, take part in education and purchase food. Our study explores the types of assisted digital access that voluntary and third sector organisations have provided thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. We capture the dimensions of this assistance and evaluate the steps such organisations take to ensure that this access is safe for both the assister and assisted. From these findings we set out a security strategy with supporting design principles that combines digital security with human security in a security approach we term 'positive-first'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human-Computer Interaction Conference
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022

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