Investigation of Phishing Avoidance

This paper reports on a design and development of a mobile game prototype as an educational tool helping computer users to protect themselves against phishing attacks.


The elements of a game design framework for avoiding phishing attacks were used to address the game design issues. Our mobile game design aimed to enhance the users’ avoidance behaviour through motivation to protect themselves against phishing threats. A think-aloud study was conducted, along with a pre- and post-test, to assess the game design framework though the developed mobile game prototype. The study results showed a significant improvement of participants’ phishing avoidance behaviour in their post-test assessment. Furthermore, the study findings suggest that participants’ threat perception, safeguard effectiveness, self-efficacy, perceived severity and perceived susceptibility elements positively impact threat avoidance behaviour, whereas safeguard cost had a negative impact on it.