Dec 8, 2006
The New York Times this week reported that spam levels have doubled in the last six months. I’m pretty sure there was a lull towards the end of the summer, but we’ll take their word for it. The paper reports on figures released by one of the myriad spam-filtering companies, Ironport, and claims that 90 percent of the 50 billion e-mails sent across the internet (as opposed to internal company emails, which are a different matter) every day is a spam or a phishing mail.
Everyone assumes that the vast majority of the spam sent is offering pictures and videos of people in various states of undress for the one-handed surfers out there. However, the spam figures don’t quite stack up like that. The “London” Times published figures that reveal half of all spam is for health products, a third of all spam is for money and stocks advice and tips, and a mere 3 out of every 100 is adult-only content, as it were. That’s still 1.5b adult spams a day.
Moreover, the London Times’ report suggests more worryingly that spam mail has increased by 300% in the last four months, not merely doubling as the NYT has it.
The anti-spam companies claim they can trap 95% of the spam, but that leaves 2.5b spams getting through every day. The vast majority of those seem to arrive in my inbox, and I daren’t take a holiday for fear of missing that false positive when the spam trap clears the filters each week.
What do you think? Is spam affecting your work? What can we do to stem the tide?