Heather Richter Lipford

Heather's headshot

Graduate Program Director
Department of Software and Information Systems
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Office: 305E Woodward Hall
Phone: +1 704-687-8376
Email: Heather.Lipford at uncc.edu


Dr. Heather Richter Lipford is a Professor at UNC Charlotte, and is also the Graduate Program Director of the MS in Information Technology and MS in Cybersecurity in the SIS department. She completed her Ph.D. from the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, usable privacy and security, and social computing. She is co-directing the HCI Lab and is a member of the UNCC Cyber Defense and Network Assurability Center.


  • I am Vice Chair of the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). Contact me to learn more about sponsorship or organizational activities
  • I am a Co-Editor for the Department on SocioTechnical Aspects of Security and Privacy for IEEE S&P Magazine. If you have ideas for articles, please email me!
  • The Master's degree in Cybersecurity at UNCC is now available!


My primary research interest is Usable Security and Privacy - the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and information security and privacy.

Active Projects

Previous Projects
  • Improving Privacy on Social Network Sites: Investigating how people are sharing and protecting their information on social network sites and mobile platforms, and proposing new interfaces and privacy mechanisms to improve privacy management.

Recent Publications

See my CV or Google Scholar profile for a complete list of publications.

  • Simson Garfinkel and Heather Richter Lipford. Usable Security: History, Themes, and Challenges. Synthesis Lectures on Information Security, Privacy, and Trust, Morgan & Claypool, September 2014.
  • Pamela Wisniewski, A.K.M. Najmul Islam, Heather Richter Lipford, and David Wilson. Framing and Measuring Multi-Dimensional Interpersonal Privacy Preferences of Social Networking Site Users. Communications of the Association of Information Systems, 38, January 2016.
  • Jason Watson, Andrew Besmer, and Heather Richter Lipford. Mapping User Preference to Privacy Default Settings. ACM Transactions on Human Computer Interaction, December 2015. 22(6), pp 1-20.
  • Mahmoud Mohammadi, Bill Chu, Heather Richter Lipford, and Emerson Murphy-Hill. Automatic Web Security Unit Testing: XSS Vulnerability Detection. In the Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM Workshop on Automated Software Testing (AST 2016), May 2016.
  • Tyler Thomas, Justin Smith, Bill Chu, Emerson Murphy-Hill, and Heather Richter Lipford. A Study of Interactive Code Annotation for Access Control Vulnerabilities. In the Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC 2015), October, 2015.
  • Michael Whitney, Heather Richter Lipford, Bill Chu, Jun Zhu. Embedding Secure Coding Instruction into the IDE: A Field Study in an Advanced CS Course. In the Proceedings of SIGCSE 2015, the 46th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, March 2015.


Below are the courses that I commonly teach. Current course materials can be found on canvas or Moodle.
  • ITIS 2300: Introduction to Web Based Application Development
  • ITIS 3130: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction
  • ITIS 6400/8400: Principles of Human Computer Interaction
  • ITIS 4420/6420/8420: Usable Security and Privacy

Ph.D. Students

  • Abdulmajeed Alqhatani
  • Stacey Watson
  • Madiha Tabbasum
  • Ambarish Regmi
  • Erik Northrop
  • Tyler Thomas
  • Michael Whitney (Ph.D. 2015): Assistant Professor, Winthrop University
  • Jason Watson (Ph.D. 2014): Assistant Professor, University of North Alabama
  • Andrew Besmer (Ph.D. 2013): Assistant Professor, Winthrop University
  • Pamela Wisniewski (Ph.D. 2012, with Dave Wilson): Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida
  • Jing Xie (Ph.D. 2012, with Bill Chu): FireEye Security