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University of Michigan School of Information

Yixin Zou

Yixin Zou

PhD Student Email:


I am a PhD student at the University of Michigan, School of Information (UMSI) advised by Prof. Florian Schaub. I am part of the Security and Privacy Interaction (SPI) Lab and the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing (MISC) group. I also work closely with the Usable Privacy Policy Project team at Carnegie Mellon University, and a research team based in New York City that studies computer security and privacy issues in the context of intimate partner violence.


Areas of Interest

My research interests lie in the intersection of security, privacy, and human-computer interactions. I study topics such as data breach notifications, phishing/malware warnings, and website privacy choices, trying to understand users' behavior and preference in these contexts and how to better motivate users to take actions in face of threats through HCI and interaction design.

Honors and Awards

Best Paper Honorable Mention, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2019, 2020)

Facebook Fellowship Finalist (2019, 2020)

UMSI Field Prelim Milestone Distinction Award (2019)

NortonLifeLock Research Group Graduate Fellowship (2019)

Distinguished Paper Award, Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (2018)


B.S. in Advertising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Illustrated graphic shows burglar in mask with sack emerging from laptop screen, approaching two credit cards.
UMSI researchers’ guide to avoid data breaches

An international team from the U-M School of Information, George Washington University and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology provided information for taking protective steps against potential risks from data breaches in a groundbreaking study.

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An illustration of hackers stealing login information
Data breaches: Most victims unaware when shown evidence of multiple compromised accounts

Most participants in a recent University of Michigan study were unaware that their email addresses and other personal information had been compromised in five data breaches on average.

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