If you received an e-mail containing nude photos of your favorite celebrity, would you open it?September 18, 2012 10 Email article | Print article
The scenario I present to you is simple. You are sitting at home or work and you receive an e-mail in your inbox claiming to contain nude videos or pictures of your favorite celebrity. Would you open it? Apparently 996 Taiwanese government workers would.
The government of New Taipei, Taiwan wanted to see how their workers would react to spam or malicious e-mails. So the government sent an e-mail to 6,179 of its workers with the subject of “Justin Lee’s sex videos, download it, quick”. (Justin Lee is a popular, erm, sex symbol in Taiwan.) The e-mail itself was not malicious or spam; it was a legitimate e-mail from the government disguised as spam for the purposes of teaching its workers to not open such e-mails. However, the workers did not know this prior to opening the e-mail and, as it turns out, almost 1 out of 6 of them couldn’t resist the urge. Oops.
Those that ended up opening the e-mail were told they must report to their supervisor and attend a two hour long data security course. Imagine having to explain to your supervisor why you are there to see him or her. Or telling your husband or wife what you just did at work today.
Moral of the story?
Keep the porn at home. Don’t open e-mails that sound too good to be true, because they likely are.