34% of users click on links due to human curiosity

With nearly a quarter of ID fraud victims being savvy users of mobile and social media platforms in the UK last year, regular device updates nor computer literacy are stopping users from engaging in harmful online behaviour.

Further indicators from the Experian study suggest that companies can no longer live with hope that the future generation of technology users will browse safely. New research conducted by German academics at Black Hat 2016 demonstrated that no cyber-security training will overpower human curiosity.

During the study, a message was sent out to various users claiming to have pictures from a party and asked the recipient not to share them. One in four people clicked on the email link. Meanwhile, 43.5 percent of respondents clicked on the message while on Facebook.

A third (34 percent) of users claimed that they clicked because, “I was curious”, “I wanted to see what is there”, “I wanted to find out more about the pictures”. Over a quarter (27 percent) said they clicked because it fit their New Year party, 17 percent wanted to investigate, 16 percent knew the sender and 11 percent misplaced trust in their cyber-security solutions.

“Educating users to behave in a responsible manner is admirable, but clearly inefficient given the sheer volume of users. It is time businesses stopped relying on consumers to keep their devices malware-free, especially since most of us are one click away from being the victims of online fraud,” said Lars Lunde Birkeland, head of communication at Promon in emailed comments to SCMagazineUK.com.

“Data breaches can pose severe financial and reputational consequences for businesses. What organisations need to do is think differently about cyber-security: the emphasis should be on working out how you can strengthen the security of your own data, rather than worrying about what your customers are doing.”