Steve Sheng, Bryant Magnien, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, Alessandro Acquisti, Lorrie Cranor, Jason Hong, and Elizabeth Nunge
Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS)
In this paper we describe the design and evaluation of Anti-Phishing Phil, an online game that teaches users good habits to help them avoid phishing attacks. We used learning science principles to design and iteratively refine the game. We evaluated the game through a user study: participants were tested on their ability to identify fraudulent web sites before and after spending 15 minutes engaged in one of three anti-phishing training activities (playing the game, reading an anti-phishing tutorial we created based on the game, or reading existing online training materials). We found that the participants who played the game were better able to identify fraudulent web sites compared to the participants in other conditions. We attribute these effects to both the content of the training messages presented in the game as well as the presentation of these materials in an interactive game format. Our results confirm that games can be an effective way of educating people about phishing and other security attacks.