How Well Do Consumers Know About Phishing Emails?

Experts say that some consumers are too confident in determining scam messages, resulting in their own defeat. Several companies and consumers today see cybersecurity threats as a primary concern. Each day, a multitude of innocent individuals are becoming victims of bogus emails sent by scammers.

The study states that consumers were most prone to danger when they are very confident in detecting these harmful messages. People were more careful when they are not too confident, and expect negative consequences on opening a phishing email. Individuals who fall in phishing scams tend to be overconfident. In the following paragraphs, we will share an experiment done by experts to show that too much confidence could result in unwanted outcomes.

The participants were asked to read 38 separate emails wherein half of which were legitimate messages and the other half were phishing emails. They need to determine if an email is a phishing email or not, and if an email is proven bogus, they needed to identify what actions to take for such case. They were also asked how confident they were in their choice. Determining the consequences of a phishing attack is also included in this experiment.

Because of the nature of the study, participants were generally vigilant of each email. However, they still can’t completely distinguish which were the phishing emails and the legitimate ones. The average rate of success was only 50% to 70%, but 75% of the phishing links were not clicked.

Some people identified all the emails as phishing scams beforehand without checking them one by one, this is why they got the majority of the phishing emails right. Experts say that those people don’t have a high ability to differentiate a legitimate email from a phishing email. The decisions made by the participants will surely affect their computer systems if done in reality.

The experiment concludes that consumers needed to be more educated in order to recognize a phishing attack and its dire consequences. “Embedded training” was suggested by a few experts, which includes sending fake phishing emails, and once clicked, it’ll teach a user about scam messages.

We are looking forward to your comments and if you have other questions in mind don’t be afraid to ask us, any topic regarding cybersecurity or cybercrimes will do, be it internet fraud or identity theft.

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