The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an immense amount of change to our daily lives. In order to cope with this, there has been a huge increase in the use of collaboration and shared technology, with platforms such as Google Meet substituting business meetings, educational classrooms, and all sorts of social interaction -- according to Google Cloud, Google saw 30x growth of Meet usage in the early stages of the pandemic.
Yet with an increase of shared technology usage for good, there has also been a surge of cybercrimes during the pandemic. According to CNBC, in the US, digital fraud attempts in 2021 have increased by 25.07% compared to last year. Through technology such as Google Meet, it is all too easy for those who are getting used to a now-digital world to open a link sent by someone else without knowing if its contents are malicious or not. As students, we have all experienced moments, while in a Google Meet class setting or looking for reliable sources, where someone unknown may send a link with a url that can’t tell us the reliability of its contents.
We believe that with SafeLynk, we can help mitigate the dangers of cybercrimes and the amount of people, especially those such as students and teachers, who may possibly fall to malicious content or internet scams through a click of a link.
What it does
In a nutshell, we provide the following features :—
- Extracting the quality index of the links shared (Take that as quality metrics which determines the safety & health of the link)
- Deploying media (img/gifs) to IPFS to make the content tamperproof & distributes across the web (reduced bandwidth)
- Creating a preview of that media link in chatboxes of Google Meet directly (presents the authenticity, health & content)
- Summarizing URL's content so that user can get a quick insight of the link posted/shared with him/her (via ML model)
How we built it
The ML summarizer model has been made using Python & Pytorch & has been deployed on a free instance of Heroku.
- Learning Opinion Summarizers by Selecting Informative Reviews, ArXiv : https://bit.ly/3npVjC7
- Learning to Summarize Long Texts with Memory Compression and Transfer, ArXiv : https://bit.ly/3karaEV
♣ Datasets :- Recompiled from several sources.
♣ Articles :-
- COVID impact on meeting apps, CNBC : https://bit.ly/3iNdnms
- Fraudsters tricking people with Google Meet, IndianExpress : https://bit.ly/3alDHj3
- More and more phishing scams are using Google Meet, Techradar : https://bit.ly/3my9enu
- Google Meet’s Open redirects can lead the user to a spoof website where they may become victims of phishing, Digitalinformationworld : https://bit.ly/2X2tsx0
- Design Resources : Freepik
- Icons : Icons8
- Font : Fredoka One / Manrope / Montserrat / Roboto
Challenges we ran into 😤
Sleep is very important! Jokes apart, tbh a lot of things, both summed up in technical & non-technical sides. For the technical part, we did face some serious issues while we're finetuning the hyperparameters. Handling CORS and other bugs were also a big challenge. We faced most challenges while we were integrating the modules into one. Also faced a bit of issue with Pytorch while we were preparing the summarizer model.
Conclusion : To be honest, Chrome Extensions are a pure mess!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
With our team hacking from all around the world, we faced an initial challenge of working with varying time zones which made it difficult to find common meeting times. Despite it, we were able to make compromises and still delegate tasks that we could do during our respective times on the weekend. Working with new technologies and learning the ropes on how to make a Chrome extension was also initially a challenge but with teamwork, we were able to implement and complete our project.
What we learned
A lot of things, both summed up in technical & non-technical sides. For the technical part, we faced a lot of serious issues in form of errors as we were integrating modules inside the Chrome Extension. Handling CORS and other bugs were also a big challenge. We also gave our level best to make the UI/UX look solid which helped us learn more about different design-centric approaches! Not to mention, Stackoverflow was the gem for us while we're troubleshooting some complicated issues late-night.
What's next for SafeLynk
We just really want this project to create a real positive impact on humanity. We are also planning to integrate file transfer support along with some cosmetic features into the extension to make the UI look more attractive & intuitive. Chrome did update their set of protocols which doesn't allow us to enable toast notifications, but yes we'll definitely try to find other bypass methods to implement the same.
Note — API credentials have been revoked. If you want to run the same on your local, use your own credentials.