Marketwired Blog

Trust in social media mail

Here’s an unexpected finding: social media email messages are among the safest out there. So found a report from Agari.

The company ranks sectors based on how much users receive fraudulent emails claiming to be from that sector and how much each sector is making efforts to reduce fraud and fake emails. It does so under its TrustScore and FraudScore ranking system.

According to the 2013 Email TrustIndex for Q2, messages sent via social media are the least vulnerable to email attacks compared to the financial services, e-commerce, travel, logistics and gaming sectors.

Social media got a TrustScore of 73.1 out of a possible 100. Social media portals have been increasing their efforts to deflect fraud.

E-commerce sites have also increased their security features and have landed a score of 43.5, up nine percent from the previous quarter.

Who’s faring poorly? Financial services. Agari gave that sector a 39.7 TrustScore, up seven percent — that sector has long been a target for fraudulent emails. Travel did the worst, however, with a 17.2 score. No surprise here: these sectors collect the most valuable personal information from clients.

But there’s an irony to these findings: social media users are often concerned about security features on the portals they use and worry that privacy and other aspects of their online experience are at risk. The fact that fraud remains somewhat at bay in social media is not well known by the general public.

Meanwhile, the growing complexity of social sites — more ads, more features — could well put an end to this relatively safe era.

Consumer education about fraud and fake emails has not been largely successful. People still click on fake emails all the time and send private information to criminals. Social media marketers would do well to keep putting the word out there about online safety, promoting the safety features of the portals they use, and hope that technology will keep up with fraud in future so conversations between businesses and consumers can continue to happen in a safe and open way.

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