Is Curiosity Putting You at Risk of a Cyberattack?

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Basic human nature can cause us to click on links in messages from unknown senders even when we know such links can be dangerous, according to a recent study.

Curiosity endangers more than the proverbial cat, new research shows.

It can cause us to click on links in messages from unknown senders even when we know such links can be dangerous, according to a recent study out of one of Germany’s largest research universities, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

For the study, researchers conducted two experiments in which they sent emails or Facebook messages to about 1,700 FAU students.

The correspondence, which was sent under a fake name, claimed that the link in the correspondence was to a page with images of a party the previous weekend.

In the first experiment, the students were addressed by their first names. In this case, 56 percent of email recipients and 38 percent of Facebook message recipients clicked on the links in the correspondence.

In the second experiment, the students were not addressed personally but were given more details about when the photos were supposedly taken. This time, 20 percent of email recipients and 42 percent of Facebook message recipients clicked on the links.

One of the most surprising overall findings, however, was that 78 percent of participants stated they were aware of the risk of clicking on unknown links, according to lead researcher Zinaida Benenson, from FAU’s Chair of Computer Science 1, whose research focuses on the human factors in information technology security.

The main reason participants clicked on unknown links despite knowing the risk of doing so was curiosity — in this case, curiosity about the photos or the sender, the study found.

Perhaps the scariest conclusion is that we may be unable to escape our curious nature, according to Benenson. Although she notes that additional research is needed to find ways to help make people more aware of security attacks that can result from clicking on unknown links, she also concludes:

“I think that, with careful planning and execution, anyone can be made to click on this type of link, even [if] it’s just out of curiosity. I don’t think one hundred percent security is possible.”

Do you agree with Benenson? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 10 Insurance Products That Are a Waste of Money

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,056 more deals!