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September-October 2004 (vol. 2 no. 5)
pp. 16-18
Lorrie Faith Cranor, Carnegie Mellon University
Simson Garfinkel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
There's an old joke that computers are actually easy machines to secure: just turn them off, lock them in a metal-lined room, and throw away the key. What you end up with is a machine that is very secure--just not very usable.

As the joke's continuing popularity demonstrates, many people believe that there is an inherent trade-off between security and usability. A computer without passwords is usable, but not very secure. On the other hand, a computer that requires you to authenticate every 5 minutes with your password and a fresh drop of blood might indeed be very secure, but nobody would want to use it.

Index Terms:
usability, security
Lorrie Faith Cranor, Simson Garfinkel, "Guest Editors' Introduction: Secure or Usable?," IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 16-18, Sept.-Oct. 2004, doi:10.1109/MSP.2004.69
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