Design and evaluation of an augmented reality game for cybersecurity awareness (CybAR)

Hamed Alqahtani*, Manolya Kavakli-Thorne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of damaging cyberattacks is increasing exponentially due in part to lack of user awareness of risky online practices, such as visiting unsafe websites, ignoring warning messages, and communicating with unauthenticated entities. Although research has established the role that game-based learning can play in cognitive development and conceptual learning, relatively few serious mobile games have been developed to educate users about different forms of cyberattack and ways of avoiding them. This paper reports the development of an effective augmented reality (AR) game designed to increase cybersecurity awareness and knowledge in an active and entertaining way. The Cybersecurity Awareness using Augmented Reality (CybAR) game is an AR mobile application that teaches not only cybersecurity concepts, but also demonstrates the consequences of actual cybersecurity attacks through feedback. The design and evaluation of the application are described in detail. A survey was conducted to verify the effectiveness of the game received positive responses from 91 participants. The results indicate that CybAR is useful for players to develop an understanding of cybersecurity attacks and vulnerabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
Number of pages19
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Augmented reality
  • Cybersecurity awareness
  • Game-based learning
  • Gamification


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