The majority of Brits (70%) do not know simply opening an email could expose a computer to cyber-attack, according to a new survey.
The research, from European based email provider Mailjet, has also revealed almost half of us (49%) admitted to opening an email at work that was personal or non-work related.
The research has been carried out by to reveal the common email security threats that employees are exposing themselves and their employers to in the workplace.
Many Brits also confessed to abandoning all understanding of email safety when it comes to popular culture.
– 2 in 10 of us would open an email with a swear word in the subject line
– 10% have admitted to opening an email that explicitly mentions containing nudity
– More Brits would risk email security for a sneaky look at ‘never before’ seen images of Kim Kardashian, than Kate Middleton
When it comes to email content, it seems many Brits abandon their basic understanding of email safety when it comes to risky or popular culture. Almost 2 in 10 (18%) of us would open an email with a swear word in the subject line, whilst 1 in 10 (10%) of us have admitted to opening an email that explicitly mentions containing nudity – suggesting many of us are not put off by adult content. Indeed, almost 2 in 10 (19%) of us admitted to knowingly opening an email that contains images of a beautiful woman or man.
The research also revealed our preference for celebrity culture – perhaps unsurprisingly, more of us admitted to risking professionalism and opening an email containing the subject line “Kim Kardashian as you’ve never seen her before!”, as opposed to our latest Royal, Kate Middleton. Whilst only 4% of us said we would download email attachments of the British future Queen, over 5% of us admitted to opening emails with Kim Kardashian content, despite being in the workplace.
Amir Jirbandey, Inbound Marketing Lead at Mailjet comments “It may sound simple, but the general lack of education surrounding emails is one of the biggest threats to cyber security. The Sony attack last year emphasised just how dangerous email hacking can be and highlighted to organisations that more advanced and specific attacks are likely going to be used to target weaknesses in IT infrastructure. The fact that almost 70% of us do not see emails as a threat to computer security is staggering, and what this research has emphasised is the need for both consumers and businesses to sit up and understand the need to prioritise basic email safety”.