Think you could correctly identify 10 out of 10 emails as either legitimate or phishing? Maybe think again.
According to results from an Intel Security quiz released yesterday (May 12), only 3 percent of respondents worldwide were able to correctly identify every example in such a format. And while, accordingly, 97 percent of participants failed to get a perfect score, a worrisome 80 percent of them misidentified at least one phishing email as a legitimate one.
As the press release sharing the results notes, in the real world, all it takes is one such mistake for a person to fall victim to personal data theft — be it achieved by tricking someone into entering a piece of identifying information, or just clicking on a link that allows for malware to be uploaded.
Approximately 19,000 respondents in 144 countries participated in the Intel survey. Broken down by age group, those in the 35-44 year old range performed best, with an average of 68 percent of questions correctly answered. The groups who fared the worst on the quiz were women under the age of 18 and over the age of 55, who correctly identified an average of 6 out of 10 messages. Male respondents slightly outperformed female respondents, with their respective accuracy averages shaking out at 67 percent and 63 percent.
By geographical breakdown, the highest-scoring country was France, followed by Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain. The United States landed in the No. 27 spot, with respondents from the country scoring an average phishing-detection accuracy rate of 68 percent.
"Phishing emails often look like they are from credible sites but are designed to trick you into sharing your personal information,” said Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at Intel Security, in the release. “Review your emails carefully and check for typical phishing clues including poor visuals and incorrect grammar, which may indicate that the email was sent by a scammer."