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Majority of Brits don't see email as a potential cyber threat

If you don’t consider your email account as a potential cyber threat, you’re not alone. According to the latest research by email provider Mailjet, 7 in 10 Brits think the same.

Such approach to email means, according to Mailjet, “misunderstanding the fundamentals of computer safety”.

The research found that over two thirds (69 per cent) of Brits did not know simply opening an email could expose a computer to cyber-attack. What’s more, almost half of those surveyed (49 per cent) admitted to opening an email at work that was personal or non-work related.

Now comes the fun part. What type of content do we open while at work? Almost 2 in 10 (18 per cent) would open an email with a swear word in the subject line, whilst 1 in 10 (10 per cent) have admitted to opening an email that explicitly mentions containing nudity. Almost 2 in 10 (19 per cent) admitted to knowingly opening an email that contains images of a beautiful woman or man.

The research also revealed the preference for celebrity culture – more of Brits admitted to risking professionalism and opening an email containing the subject line “Kim Kardashian as you’ve never seen her before!”, as opposed to Kate Middleton. Whilst only 4 per cent said they would download email attachments of the future British Queen, over 5 per cent 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”.