Technology

Google Study Finds Email Scams Are More Effective Than You’d Expect

In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand during at Google offices in New York. People should have some say over the results that pop up when they conduct a search of their own name online, Europe's highest court said Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
In this Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, a man raises his hand during at Google offices in New York. People should have some say over the results that pop up when they conduct a search of their own name online, Europe’s highest court said Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

 

(The Huffington Post) – You know those weird emails that try to trick you into handing over your information? Turns out they work way better than you’d expect, according to a new study from Google and the University of California, San Diego.

Certain websites included in phishing emails successfully lure users up to 45 percent of the time, according to the study, which came out on Thursday. Once on the bogus pages — which tend to imitate legitimate sites, like Google itself, in an effort to obtain people’s private details — 14 percent of people unwittingly submit their information to hackers. Researchers said the percentage of people who get tricked was “much higher” than they expected.

To gather this data, Google and UCSD looked at 100 phishing emails picked out of a random sample self-reported by Gmail users. The researchers also reviewed a random sample of 100 phishing websites caught by Google’s Safe Browsing system to further understand how the scams work. These websites were all created through Google Forms, which is how researchers were able to access the data.

The researchers were then able to look back and see how people interacted with the emails and websites. Even on the worst-performing phishing websites, 3 percent of users still submitted their data. On the most effective phishing sites, as many as 45 percent did.

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