Older generations are less likely to click phishing emails

Digital natives aged between 18-39 are the most vulnerable age group for phishing scams, according to new data from security awareness training company SoSafe.

It finds that 18-39 year-olds have an average click rate of 29 percent on phishing emails, which drops to 19 percent among older age groups.

The report also shows men tend to click on phishing links more often than women. 23 percent of male participants opened at least one of the simulated phishing emails, with the average click rate among female participants more than 10 percent lower.

Public sector organizations are most vulnerable to phishing attacks (with an average click rate of 36 percent) while staff in manufacturing companies are least likely to click on harmful emails (19 percent).

Dr Niklas Hellemann, CEO at SoSafe, says, "Today's sophisticated cybercriminals deploy a broad set of psychological tactics that exploit human emotions like stress, fear or respect for authority - and our data highlights why awareness of the threat landscape plays an absolutely crucial role in cybersecurity culture. Even -- or especially -- the ones with the highest digital literacy are vulnerable to digital threats. Investing in technological barriers is of course vital, but companies also need to act now to empower their teams to spot threats and react accordingly -- otherwise tech alone is powerless to protect."

The study reveals that the email subject lines most likely to generate a click are usually based on emotional manipulation, inducing pressure, anxiety or curiosity, and appealing to authority as well as financial desires.

You can read more on the SoSafe blog.

Photo Credit: Lighthunter/Shutterstock

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