Dr Karen Renaud


Computer and Information Sciences

Personal statement

I am interested in all aspects of human-centred cybersecurity. My research focuses on human-centred security, a branch of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). I am interested in the interplay between users and security in the context of societal and industrial use. I want to work towards creating a natural easy yet secure interaction between humans and devices. My work has a strong development, experimental and deployment focus, testing solutions in practical situations. I have come up with a number of novel solutions to improve usability in a wide range of situations. I have also done fundamental work in understanding people’s mental models of security in a variety of applications and contexts. My vision: Human-as-Solution, rather than Human-as-Problem.


People  want reassurance when making privacy-related decisions - not technicalities
Kulyk Oksana, Renaud Karen, Costica Stefan
The Journal of Systems & Software Vol 200 (2023)
Investigating the mediating effects of phubbing on self-presentation and FoMO within the context of excessive Instagram use
van der Schyff Karl, Renaud Karen, Puchert- Townes Juliet, Tshiqi Naledi
Cogent Psychology Vol 9 (2022)
Human-centred cyber secure software engineering
Renaud Karen
Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft (2022)
Parents who share info about their kids online are a cybersecurity risk. Here's why.
Jarvie Chelsea, Renaud Karen
The challenges of cloud adoption among South African small to medium enterprises : a thematic analysis
Mudzamba Ronald, van der Schyff Karl, Renaud Karen
The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries Vol 88 (2022)
Moving beyond cyber security awareness and training to engendering security knowledge sharing
Alahmari Saad, Renaud Karen, Omoronyia Inah
Information Systems and e-Business Management (2022)

More publications

Professional activities

National Science Centre Poland (Narodowe Centrum Nauki ) (External organisation)
19th International Conference of Technical Committee 13 (Human- Computer Interaction) of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing). (Event)
Peer reviewer
Universal Access in the Information Society (Journal)
Peer reviewer
ARES Conference: Availability, Reliability, Security (Event)
Behaviour & Information Technology (Journal)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


AP4L: Adaptive PETs to Protect & emPower People during Life Transitions
Moncur, Wendy (Principal Investigator) Renaud, Karen (Co-investigator) Yan, Jeff (Co-investigator)
AP4L is a 3-year program of interdisciplinary research, centring on the online privacy & vulnerability challenges that people face when going through major life transitions. Our central goal is to develop privacy-by-design technologies to protect & empower people during these transitions. Our work is driven by a narrative that will be familiar to most people. Life often "just happens", leading people to overlook their core privacy and online safety needs. For instance, somebody undergoing cancer treatment may be less likely to finesse their privacy setting on social media when discussing the topic. Similarly, an individual undergoing gender transition may be unaware of how their online activities in the past may shape the treatment into the future. This project will build the scientific and theoretical foundations to explore these challenges, as well as design and evaluate three core innovations that will address the identified challenges. AP4L will introduce a step-change, making online safety and privacy as painless and seamless as possible during life transitions

To ensure a breadth of understanding, we will apply these concepts to four very different transitions through a series of carefully designed co-creation activities, devised as part of a stakeholder workshop held in Oct'21. These are relationship breakdowns; LBGT+ transitions or transitioning gender; entering/ leaving employment in the Armed Forces; and developing a serious illness or becoming terminally ill. Such transitions can significantly change privacy considerations in unanticipated or counter-intuitive ways. For example, previously enabled location-sharing with a partner may lead to stalking after a breakup; 'coming out' may need careful management across diverse audiences (e.g - friends, grandparents) on social media.

We will study these transitions, following a creative security approach, bringing together interdisciplinary expertise in Computer Science, Law, Business, Psychology and Criminology.

We will systematise this knowledge, and develop fundamental models of the nature of transitions and their interplay with online lives. These models will inform the development of a suite of technologies and solutions that will help people navigate significant life transitions through adaptive, personalised privacy-enhanced interventions that meet the needs of each individual and bolster their resilience, autonomy, competence and connection. The suite will comprise:

(1) "Risk Playgrounds", which will build resilience by helping users to explore potentially risky interactions of life transitions with privacy settings across their digital footprint in safe ways

(2) "Transition Guardians", which will provide real-time protection for users during life transitions.

(3) "Security Bubbles", which will promote connection by bringing people together who can help each other (or who need to work together) during one person's life transition, whilst providing additional guarantees to safeguard everyone involved.

In achieving this vision, and as evidenced by £686K of in-kind contributions, we will work with 26 core partners spanning legal enforcement agencies (e.g., Surrey Police), tech companies (e.g., Facebook, IBM), support networks (e.g., LGBT Foundation, Revenge Porn Helpline) and associated organisations (e.g., Ofcom, Mastercard, BBC). Impact will be delivered through various activities including a specially commissioned BBC series on online life transitions to share knowledge with the public; use of the outputs of our projects by companies & social platforms (e.g., by incorporating into their products, & by designing their products to take into consideration the findings of our project) & targeted workshops to enable knowledge exchange with partners & stakeholders.
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2025
Revealing Young Learners’ Mental Models of Online Sludge
Renaud, Karen (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2022
SIPR PhD Studentships Proposal:Improving Cybercrime reporting
Thomas, Daniel (Principal Investigator) Renaud, Karen (Co-investigator) Sikra, Juraj (Researcher)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2024
CENSIS PhD Studentship: A mechanism for preventing access to adult content.
Renaud, Karen (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2024

More projects


Computer and Information Sciences
Livingstone Tower

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