Online quiz tests phishing knowledge

Do you know a legitimate e-mail from a phishing e-mail? A security vendor says many people do not.

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.

Real or fake? By taking the test, you can test your ability to spot a phishing scam. SonicWall

About the author

    As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.


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