Skip to main content

Half of workers admit to opening suspicious emails

email office computer
(Image credit: Image Credit: Raw Pixel / Pixabay)

Many employees still click on shady links in emails and social media posts, despite knowing the risks, a new report from Mimecast claims.

Polling more than 1,000 employees worldwide for the report, Mimecast uncovered that while almost all (96 percent) claim to be aware of the fact that these links may be harmful (opens in new tab), nearly half (45 percent) still open them from time to time.

To make matters worse, the same percentage refrains from reporting such emails to their IT security teams.

Mimecast's report also argues that employee cybersecurity training, when conducted, isn't always effective. Almost two thirds (64 percent) of respondents had received cybersecurity training related to working from home, yet some still click on high-risk links regardless.

“This research puts a spotlight on the fact that while there’s a good amount of awareness training being offered, the type of training or the frequency is completely ineffective,” said Michael Madon, SVP Awareness Training and Threat Intelligence at Mimecast.

Besides clicking on shady links (opens in new tab), employees often engage in other forms of risky activity too. Ever since the lockdown began and remote working took center stage, many employees have used their personal devices for work, while others use work devices for personal matters.

“With everyone’s home becoming their new office, classroom and place of residence, it’s not really a surprise that employees are using their company-issued devices for personal use. However, better training is crucial to avoid putting the company at risk,” added Madon.

According to Mimecast, training needs to be short, visual and humorous in order to prove effective.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.