Have you ever wondered what could happen if you’d replied to every “Buy V1agra” message, clicked on every link offering weight loss pills or video of Cristina Aguilera naked? Thanks to experiment organized by McAfee, we know what happens.
McAfee recruited 50 volunteers in 10 countries for a job every security expert tells you to avoid at all costs: replying to spam emails and clicking on every shiny pop-up. Every volunteer has been given a new computer for this experiment. Fortunately, the test only took a month and the participants were more that fortunate to have fabricated online IDs (names, emails, bank accounts, etc.). Volunteers been attacked by numerous spam messages, but instead of avoiding spam and trying to keep their emails off the lists of spammers, participants did the contrary thing: replied to every offer, visited each “recommended” website and gave their personal information to anyone who asked for it. Each fabricated bank account was hacked several times. And the results were even worse than McAfee expected: The least amount of spam was approximately 3000 emails a month (Germany and France) and the biggest amount was more than 23,000 a month (U.S.A.). Could you handle 750 email messages daily? Needless to say, the participants were happy when the experiment ended. The computers dedicated for this test were hardly working at the end of the month because of spyware, trojans and other malicious programs.