When our team began discussing ideas, Isabella recalled a moment when she was younger and fell for an online phishing scam, leading her to loose control of her school email account and feel extremely vulnerable. This bluntly demonstrated to us the prevalence of malicious online attacks, and their frequency has only increased during lock-down.
We want to combat the online dangers which have amassed as a result of the pandemic, from zoom-bombing to scam sites and fake news.
Particularly, our target audience are working-age adults who now depend on the internet for work and even communication with family and friends in informal clubs.
What it does
Our browser extension performs three key tasks.
1) When creating a Zoom video meeting, you can generate a secure meeting password at the click of a button, which appears in the "meeting password" box for you.
2) We use AI to determine whether the website you are visiting is likely to be a scam, or spreading fake news, and you will receive a suitable notification. We believe that no one should be exploiting the current confusion amongst the public for personal gain (this feature is currently being developed).
3) Eventually, we will introduce a paid plan which offers companies and power users e-safety advice which appears in a window during zoom calls. They are reminded to set passwords as well as meeting IDs, not use their personal meeting ID for private meetings and to set up meeting rooms so they can block intruders from entering the room. We will introduce this after lock-down ends, and businesses are in more financially stable conditions.
We have also set up a marketing website. Here, users can add to our customer blogs, sharing reviews and suggestions. Through this we hope to build a community which will improve our longevity post lock-down.
How I built it
Our entire tech stack:
-Visual Studio Code
- npm Package Manager
- Google Chrome
- Google Cloud Platform
- Google Jamboard
- Google Sheets
- Google Docs
Challenges I ran into
As a two person team, we had to decide what would be feasible to show in our prototype product. By setting clear roles and responsibilities, alongside the help of our mentors, we were able to cover both the business and technical sides of our product successfully.
We had some technical difficulties integrating AI into the extension. We hope that with more time we would be able to achieve this.
Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to package and upload our extension to the google chrome store.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of our hard work and regular work schedule which has allowed us to work efficiently and collaboratively. We are also proud of having a working prototype of some of our features.
We are incredibly proud of how much we achieved after losing a team member. Even as a duo, we were able to continue onward in the face of difficulty and pursue our idea.
What I learned
Isabella developed her project management skills, and learned how to create an succinct and clear business model. Aryan leaned how to create a browser extension, and took his first step into machine learning with our scam and fake news detector.
What's next for SurfGuard
1)Package and upload our product to the chrome extension store. 2) Integrate our AI powered scam detection and fake news detector into our extension. 3) Partner with a large video conferencing site such as Zoom and ask to become their default security protocol. 4) Market ourselves using Google Ads, making use of tools like Adwords for search engine optimisation.