Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed an online game designed to teach Internet users about the dangers of phishing.

Featuring a cartoon fish named Phil, the game, called Anti-Phishing Phil, has been tested in CMU’s Privacy and Security Laboratory. Officials with the lab say users who spent 15 minutes playing the interactive, online game were better able to discern fraudulent Web sites than those who simply read tutorials about the threat.

The game focuses on teaching Internet users how to tell the URL of a fraudulent site from a legitimate one, officials say. It offers tips such as examining URLs for misspellings of popular sites, dissecting a Web address to understand where it’s pointing to, and using Google to validate a URL against search results.

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