If you use Gmail in the US or UK, you are more likely than anyone to be attacked by cyber criminals and hackers. This is the news from Google that recently teamed up with researchers at Stanford University to find out who is the most susceptible Attacks using malware-filled messages or phishing-style emails designed to steal personal information such as usernames and passwords.
After analyzing a staggering 1.2 billion fake messages over a five-month period, the teams found that those in the US were the top targets. In fact, a whopping 42 percent of all dangerous messages were directed to American inboxes.
However, don’t feel too complacent if you live in the UK as the UK was the next big hit and 10 percent of email was sent to users. Next it was Japan with five percent of all attacks.
In addition to revealing details of which countries are hardest hit by these campaigns, the research also revealed what increased your chances of getting one of these messages in your Gmail inbox.
The results show that if your data was disclosed in a third party violation, the chances of being selected as a target are five times higher.
“We find that attack campaigns tend to be short-lived and, at first glance, target indiscriminately at users on a global scale,” the study says.
“However, by modeling the distribution of target users, we find that an individual’s demographics, location, email usage patterns, and security posture significantly affect the likelihood of an attack.”
While this research sounds pretty terrifying, there is better news as Google says that 99.9 percent of all phishing and malware attacks are stopped by its advanced spam filters.
However, the US tech giant says it is still a good idea for users to run a security check to improve account security and make sure they never download a file from an untrustworthy source.
According to Google, anyone concerned about email attacks can consider signing up for the Advanced Protection Program (APP). Whenever you discover something scary in your Gmail messages, always report it so the company can stop future attacks.