Using a distributed sensor network to educate children about IoT leakage of sensitive information

Alan Ibbett, Yeslam Al-Saggaf

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


The vast majority of Australian children own a smartphone. High rates of smartphone ownership are associated with high rates of leakage of sensitive information. A child’s time and location patterns are enough to enable someone to build an accurate profile of the child. But children think that their devices already ensure that their sensitive information is secure. The aim of this study was to use off-the-shelf computing devices to educate school age children about leakage of sensitive information from IoT devices. A Distributed Sensor Network (DSN) was assembled and installed around a high school campus in Australia to measure leakage from IoT devices. Children were then informed of the results of the DSN monitoring, during an online safety lesson, which trained them on how to change common default device settings to reduce data leakage. The DSN then again measured the amount of leakage from IoT devices to see if children modified their device settings to reduce leakage of sensitive information. The results of the study revealed that the amount of data leaked from smartphones after the intervention was significantly less than the traffic captured before the intervention, thus confirming the intervention must have had an effect on changing children’s behaviour. It is recommended that this evidence-based program be expanded to other high schools in Australia to empower children to secure their sensitive information.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence, UCAmI 2022
EditorsJosé Bravo, Sergio Ochoa, Jesús Favela
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783031213335
ISBN (Print)9783031213328
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022
Event14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence: UCAmI 2022 - Hotel Hesperia, Córdoba, Spain
Duration: 29 Nov 202202 Dec 2022 (Conference website) (Program) (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume594 LNNS
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389


Conference14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence
Abbreviated titleAmbient Intelligence: Sensing, Processing and Using Environmental Information
OtherThe Ubiquitous Computing (UC) idea envisioned by Weiser in 1991, has recently evolved to a more general paradigm known as Ambient Intelligence (AmI) that represents a new generation of user-centred computing environments and systems. These solutions aim to find new ways to obtain a better integration of the information technology in everyday life devices and activities.

AmI environments are integrated by several autonomous computational devices of modern life ranging from consumer electronics to mobile phones. Ideally, people in an AmI environment will not notice these devices, but they will benefit from the services these solutions provide them. Such devices are aware of the people present in those environments by reacting to their gestures, actions and context. Recently the interest in AmI environments has grown considerably due to new challenges posed by society, demanding highly innovative services, such as vehicular ad hoc networks (VANET), Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), e-Health, Internet of Things and Home Automation among others. The main focus of this edition of the UCAmI Conference will be "Ambient Intelligence: Sensing, Processing and Using Environmental Information".
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Using a distributed sensor network to educate children about IoT leakage of sensitive information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this