Survey: Most emails fail anti-fraud test

The vast majority of businesses and government agencies aren't doing enough to help people discern genuine emails from faked ones, according to a new report form the Online Trust Alliance.

The nonprofit's survey found that just 8 percent of organizations sending emails passed its annual Email Integrity Audit, while 92 percent failed. 


Emails from federal agencies did the worst. Just 4 percent of government agency emails passed the group's test, which looked for a three key authentication standards as well as best practices for security.

Of the 50 government outfits surveyed by the Online Trust Alliance, only the House and Senate passed the bar.

“When organizations implement specific email security protocols, the results are increased consumer protection from receiving malicious and fraudulent email, strengthened brand reputation, and enhanced deliverability of legitimate email,” Online Trust Alliance President Craig Spiezle said in a statement.

“Despite the obvious benefits, the majority of organizations have yet to adopt practices comprehensively, putting consumers and their brands at risk.”

In response to the low marks, the organization urges companies and agencies to use authentication techniques on all emails it sends out, to reassure people that the messages are coming from who they say they are.

While federal government emails scored the worst, social media companies did the best. According to the analysis, 28 percent of the industry’s top 50 companies’ emails passed the anti-spam test.

Online retailers and news outlets also performed especially poorly, with just 6 percent of each meeting the group’s standards.