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Most US adults can't tell real election-campaign emails from fake: new study

A study by Valimail has found that US email users have trouble identifying fake messages. (Source: Valimail)
A study by Valimail has found that US email users have trouble identifying fake messages. (Source: Valimail)
Valimail, a US authority in online authentication, has released the results of a study conducted on the ability to spot false election campaign material sent via email. It has found that only 20% of a group identifying as Republicans identified a fake sent by their candidate, compared to just under 40% of Democrats.

Vailmail, the only e-authentication firm with FedRAMP authorization in the US, has conducted a study on how well adults in the country tell genuine emails from fakes. It was based on a survey taken by 1,079 participants. The results showed that there was a rather low rate of correct email identification among this group. This appeared to be influenced by the respondents' political standpoints.

The study found that 36% of the group identifying as Democrat correctly identified a fake email purporting to be sent by a current candidate for a US senate seat, compared to 20% of Republicans in the case of their representative standing in the same election. Valimail also reported that the rates of accuracy improved if the emails were swapped between these groups.

The company also found that only 31% of the group as a whole had any kind of anti-phishing training. Despite this, up to 84% reported that they used inadequate techniques to identify potential phishing emails (e.g. suspicious requests in the body texts).

The report also indicated that those aged 75 years or more had the most success in identifying fake emails. Those aged between 18 and 24 did better than those aged 45 to 54. However, no age group judged the veracity of more than 5 emails out of a panel of 11 real or fake emails.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Most US adults can't tell real election-campaign emails from fake: new study
Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-11- 3 (Update: 2018-11- 3)