Think you can spot the difference between a legitimate e-mail and a phishing scam sitting in your in-box? According to one security vendor, many people can't.
The SonicWall Phishing and Spam IQ Quiz test presents a series of e-mails that may or may not be from PayPal, Wells Fargo, the IRS, and others. Test takers must decide whether the e-mail is a phishing attempt, legitimate, or provide no answer. Afterward, a score card is presented and if any questions were missing, there's an opportunity to see why: A page opens up identifying the clues that should have told you a given e-mail was probably bogus.
According to SonicWall, only 59.4 percent of test takers so far this year have been able to properly identify a legitimate e-mail, compared with 77.8 percent of the test takers in 2004. And this year, only 7.4 percent of test takers were able to correctly identify and categorize every e-mail they were presented.
The good news is that people are better at spotting a likely phishing scam. This year 86.1 percent caught the scam, as opposed to only 69.2 percent in 2004.