You've been hacked! AARP interactive experience teaches how to avoid a cyber attack

by Jen Bergen |

Sitting at a coffee shop on your laptop, you check the news and see reports of yet another major hacking event affecting tens of thousands of people across the world. You may be thinking "I have nothing to worry about; I've taken all the necessary precautions, haven't opened any suspicious emails, and never download any strange files." However, by you simply logging into the coffee shop's public WiFi, you may be opening yourself up to a cyber attack.

Using interactive video to teach about privacy protection

According to Norton's 2016 Cyber Security report, within the last year, 689 million people in 21 countries experienced cybercrime. Though millennials remain the most frequent victims of cybercrime, with 40 percent having experienced it in the past year, people of all ages are subject to hacking, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) wanted to remind its members of that.

AARP needed an engaging way to teach its members about the dangers of cybercrime at places with public WiFi and how to avoid getting hacked. To do this, AARP created an interactive experience that puts the user in the shoes of Mark, the hapless character who gets hacked. Mark is baffled by how this could happen; he's very careful with his identity.

Scenario-based learning

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches hit an all-time high in 2016, up 40 percent over 2015. And, with over half of those hacks resulting in Social Security numbers and other critical data being stolen, educating its members with preventative information was essential.

Using interactive video as a scenario-based learning tool, AARP gave users the ability to relive Mark's Saturday trip to the coffee shop where his laptop hacking occurs. By making choices throughout the video, users not only learn about two of the most common hacking techniques in use at free public WiFi spots but also what to do to protect your privacy when signing into a public WiFi network.

"One of the very best ways to learn is by discovery," The eLearning Guild's Paul Clothier said in the article, Interactive Video: The Next Big Thing in Mobile. "Interacting with videos that provide branching and options can help facilitate this. [Discovery] promotes learning and increases information retention.”

The video ends with link-outs to more resources about cyber security, driving the continuation of learning.

AARP has a wealth of resources on its website for members. "You've Been Hacked" is one of four interactive experiences AARP created as part of its series to "help you get it right the first time." Check out all of AARP's scenario-based interactive video learning experiences here.

Explore the interactive experiences >

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