Faheem: Explaining URLs to people using a Slack bot

Kholoud Althobaiti, Kami Vaniea, Serena Zheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Online safety regularly depends on users' ability to know either where a URL is likely to lead or identify when they are on a site other than they expect. Unfortunately, the combination of low URL reading ability in the general population and the use of hard-to-detect approaches like look-alike letters, makes the reading of URLs quite challenging for people. We design a Slack chat bot, named Faheem, which assists users in identifying potentially fraudulent URLs while also teaching them about URL reading and common malicious tactics. In this work we describe the design of the chat bot and provide an initial evaluation. We find that Faheem does a good job of interactively helping users identify issues with URLs, but Faheem users show minimal retention of knowledge when they loose access to the tool.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium on Digital Behaviour Intervention for Cyber Security
Place of PublicationLiverpool, UK
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAISB 2018 Symposium on Swarm Intelligence & Evolutionary Computation - University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Apr 20186 Apr 2018


ConferenceAISB 2018 Symposium on Swarm Intelligence & Evolutionary Computation
Abbreviated titleAISB 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • usable security
  • human computer interaction
  • URL


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