How can we efficiently streamline the process of confirming the legitimacy of URL links sent through emails on our mobile devices, with the primary aim of enhancing protection against phishing, malware, and other online threats, while significantly reducing the number of verification steps required?
Verifying URL links on mobile devices is an important issue in the context of internet security and user experience. Mobile devices have become the primary means of accessing the internet for many people,mostly tech-savvy young adults and as a result, they are increasingly targeted by cyber threats and malicious actors. Users may inadvertently click on harmful links, leading to various security risks such as phishing, malware infections, or data breaches.
At the same time, statistics reveal that 4.1 million websites are infected with malware, with 300,000 new instances generated daily, 92% distributed through email as of 2023. The FBI's 2022 Internet Crime Report underscores the severity, with 800,944 cybercrime complaints, 300,497 pertaining to phishing, the leading cause of 90% of data breaches and 3.4 billion daily spam emails.
Through surveys and user interviews with 29 young adults, it was revealed that a significant 34.5% of participants do not trust URL links sent to their email on mobile devices, and an additional 31% only trust such links sometimes. Moreover, every single participant expressed concern about online threats like phishing or malware through email links on their mobile devices, underscoring the apprehension surrounding the issue.
- Users exhibit a cautious approach to URL links due to concerns about security, hacking, and scams.
- Users express distrust in mobile email links, with 34.5% not trusting them at all.
- High perceived risk of encountering phishing attacks or malware through URL links.
- 37.9% of participants have experienced security issues such as scams or malware due to unverified links.
Lack of Verification Tools Awareness:
- 89.7% of participants have not used any tools or features to verify URL links in mobile emails.
- Less than 15% have used features or tools for URL link verification.
Desire for Faster and Easier Verification:
- Most people respond to browser warnings by avoiding the link or closing the browser.
- Participants express the need for a faster and easier way to verify URL links.
Landing on the Solution
Linked is a product designed to streamline the verification of URL links in mobile emails, enhancing protection against phishing, malware, and other online threats. The app offers a range of features to cater to various user needs.
Explanation of the Solution
With a single click on the URL, users can instantly verify the safety of a URL link. The app provides a straightforward pop-up confirmation that categorizes the link as "safe" or "unsafe." For users seeking more detailed information, the app offers a comprehensive report explaining why a link is categorized as such, including details such as the display name, original name (if suspected phishing), IP address, source or origin, type of malware (if detected), and other connected links.
In addition to these verification features, the application also includes access control to prevent users from accessing links marked as "unsafe" to protect their devices. Users can report suspicious links to contribute to the continuous improvement of the application's database. Furthermore, the app provides users with cybersecurity tips and lessons on a weekly or monthly basis to enhance their online security awareness.
The next step will involve specific actions such as regularly updating the app based on user feedback and emerging threats, introducing new features, and conducting usability testing. Additionally, the plan includes collaborating with antivirus software providers to integrate Linked, and exploring collaborations with major email service providers for seamless integration.
Product Manager Learnings:
My experience in Co.Lab was truly transformative. In just four weeks, I not only acquired crucial skills essential for excelling as a Product Manager but also cultivated a strategic mindset. I discovered the paramount importance of delving into the core of a problem before proposing solutions—a principle that profoundly shaped my approach. The validation of a problem's significance through user feedback emerged as a pivotal step before embarking on solution development. I realized that effective product communication revolves around directly addressing user pain points, a lesson that has become a cornerstone in my professional toolkit.