My Account Is Compromised - What Do I Do? Towards an Intercultural Analysis of Account Remediation for Websites

Kathryn Walsh, Faiza Tazi, Philipp Markert, Sanchari Das

Workshop on Inclusive Privacy and Security (WIPS '21). Virtual Conference, August 7-8, 2021


Account remediation is the process users perform in case an online account gets compromised. It can be particularly challenging for users as it involves multiple steps, starting from the initial detection until a compromised account is fully recovered. To understand further, we collected and analyzed account remediation protocols from a total of top 50 websites from seven different countries: the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Korea, and China. Our results suggest that the instructions often miss essential steps. Besides, information is not always easily accessible because web services do not provide central information pages. This absence implies that in the case of an account compromise, users may need to turn to third party sources which can have malicious or incorrect information. Based on these issues, we outline the studies we plan to conduct as a future extension of this work.

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tags: Account Remediation, Account Restoration, Social Media, Web Services