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UK Surfers Fail Phishing IQ Test

Posted: 12th Apr, 2005 By: MarkJ
Over 90% of UK surfers that participated in MailFrontier's Phishing IQ (fraudulent e-mails's) TEST failed to identify all of the fake messages from the legitimate ones:

The Phishing IQ Test mixes actual phishing emails with letters from legitimate online providers. So far nearly 12,000 people have taken the test in the UK, and 92 per cent got at least one answer wrong.

"The 10 test emails are all real-life examples caught by our users, who then report them back to the company at the click of a button," said a spokesman from email security vendor MailFrontier which set up the site.

"This means that, had they appeared in people's email systems in real life, a significant number would not be able to tell a real email from a fraudulent one."


I took this test myself and scored 80%, although it's worth pointing out that the two I got wrong were those that I had also flagged as phishing fraud (better safe than sorry).

The test itself also doesn't allow you to view the source code of the e-mails or to hover your mouse pointer over any links, both of which can help to identify validity.

Having said that, the best policy is always to avoid trusting any such messages, never follow the links and simply go to any related sites directly from your own bookmark to check. More @ VNUNet.
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