Thursday, December 13, 2007

Spam Dominates 95 Percent Of All Email Sent


Just as everyone always suspected, most of their e-mails are nothing but spam.

Junk e-mail from ads for everything from discount pills to penny stocks now account for a whopping 90 to 95 percent of all e-mail sent this year, up from an estimated 5 percent of all messages in 2001, according to a report by e-mail security specialist Barracuda Networks. Last year an estimated 85 to 90 percent was spam.

Barracuda pored over 1 billion e-mail messages in the study.

"Today only one in 20 e-mails hitting a server is a welcome one," said Stephen Pao, a Barracuda exec.

Junk e-mail makers use Web tools designed to aid online consumers to fill up mailboxes with spam - including free Web-based e-mail services, blogs, and cheap Internet domain registration services that allow spammers to set up and shut down Internet sites and e-mail addresses with ease.

But perhaps the biggest driver of the surge is that consumers often unwittingly open spam messages - and then link to other garbage-y sites.

"There is some evidence that spam offers are working so those efforts are multiplying," Pao said.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported earlier this year that a growing number of consumers see spam as an epidemic - with some 55 percent of users now saying they have lost trust in e-mail because of spam.

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