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BizReport : Research archives : February 09, 2007

Study: 1 in 6 phishing messages opened

Fake dating services to false social networking emails, a new study shows consumers are opening phishing messages at an alarming rate.

by Kristina Knight

According to the study, one in every six phishing messages are opened by recipients. Study researchers "followed" more than 10,000 consumers over a six month period to record their email behavior. And it isn't just the messages from financial institutions that users need to be aware of. Social networks (1 in 4 messages openes) and Dating services (1 in 5 messages opened) are among the most-opened spoof emails.

Emails from supposed social networking sites had the highest open rate at 24.9%. High open rates were also found on phishing E-cards (17.1%), Payment sources (16.2%), Financial institutions (15.5%), Auction sources (14.7%), Information (12.9%), Retail stores (12.1%) and Dating services (9.5%).

Jeff Wilbur, vice president of marketing for ICONIX said phishing messages are very effective at motivating users to open them. “Based on the industry estimates that 59 million phishing messages are sent per day, our study indicates that as many as 10 million fake messages may be opened per day, creating huge risk for people receiving the messages."

With so many phishing messages out there, it is a wonder that email marketers have any success at all. Authenticating emails has helped some marketers by providing an icon assuring recipients that the emails they receive are legitimate. One authentication source is Iconix's TrueMark software.

The TrueMark software authenticates emails as they are received by using domain keys and sender identification. The sender is then checked against a list of Iconix registered senders, and once verified an icon is displayed in the user inbox.

Tags: email filtering, email marketing, phishing

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