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ACRR has received a grant of more than $299,000 from the Digital Trust Foundation for a two-year (2015-2017) study of privacy and security issues related to cell phone and internet use in the local area. Click here to read the official press release.

The project will investigate both online privacy concerns – such as identity theft, collecting personal information online, tracking location, “phishing” schemes, and spam – and security practices in rural Appalachia. The project will also study security practices to learn more about how people protect themselves from all of these privacy intrusions, and will investigate whether there are unique aspects to privacy and security issues in rural communities, where access to computers and cell phone networks is less widespread.

Serving as Principal Investigator, our director Dr. Sherry Hamby, is joined by Co-Investigators Drs. Kimberly Mitchell and Lisa Jones, both from the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Over two years, the project will use focus groups, interviews and a large-scale survey of over 500 people in the Appalachian community to document experiences of privacy risks as well as security practices and strategies.

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