Investigating Security Indicators for Hyperlinking Within the Metaverse


Maximiliane Windl, LMU Munich & Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML); Anna Scheidle, LMU Munich; Ceenu George, University of Augsburg & TU Berlin; Sven Mayer, LMU Munich & Munich Center for Machine Learning (MCML)


Security indicators, such as the padlock icon indicating SSL encryption in browsers, are established mechanisms to convey secure connections. Currently, such indicators mainly exist for browsers and mobile environments. With the rise of the metaverse, we investigate how to mark secure transitions between applications in virtual reality to so-called sub-metaverses. For this, we first conducted in-depth interviews with domain experts (N=8) to understand the general design dimensions for security indicators in virtual reality (VR). Using these insights and considering additional design constraints, we implemented the five most promising indicators and evaluated them in a user study (N=25). While the visual blinking indicator placed in the periphery performed best regarding accuracy and task completion time, participants subjectively preferred the static visual indicator above the portal. Moreover, the latter received high scores regarding understandability while still being rated low regarding intrusiveness and disturbance. Our findings contribute to a more secure and enjoyable metaverse experience.

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@inproceedings {289498,
author = {Maximiliane Windl and Anna Scheidle and Ceenu George and Sven Mayer},
title = {Investigating Security Indicators for Hyperlinking Within the Metaverse},
booktitle = {Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2023)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-36-6},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {605--620},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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