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Spam keeps getting worse

by Neal O'Farrell on May 1st, 2010

According to the latest State of Spam report from security firm Symantec, spam now accounts for nearly 90% of all email in circulation. I could say “all email received” but in reality most email users only get a fraction of the spam email actually sent to them, because of good filtering by their ISPs, and so may not be aware of the deluge of junk email being processed every single day.

What’s more troubling is that nearly one in every five of these emails consisted of scams and phishing messages, and many of these scams are getting more sophisticated and harder to spot. And they’re also better at scamming their way through filters and making it to your desktop.

It may also surprise you to learn that the United States was once again identified as the largest source of spam (52% of all spam compared to the next biggest source,  Brazil, churning out 5% of spam) and also the source of 52% of phishing scams.

And as an indication that spammers are using the latest news to trick users, eight out of the top ten spam messages were promoting bogus job opportunities.

The State of Spam, April 2010 (Symantec)

Lessons learned?

  • Don’t assume that spam is just an irritation. There’s always a clear profit motive behind every spam email you receive, and you’re that profit.
  • The best way to annoy spammers and lose them money is to completely ignore every spam message you receive.

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