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The War on Email Spam Is Showing Results

by Fox Van Allen on April 17, 2013

Hello there, Sir/Madam. Can I interest you in a reliable new Canadian Pharmacy? Perhaps a new Rollex Watch Genuine Watch? And I trust your heart is large enough to help me transfer $50 million out of an African widow’s bank account?

You’re probably as interested in those offers as the next guy – which is to say not very interested at all. But our inboxes still fill up with hundreds of spam emails in a single day offering drugs, women, and money. And they probably always will. That’s the bad news.

Now, here’s the good news: According to security company Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2013, spam is actually down since last year. In 2011, unwanted spam made up a full 75% of all email sent. Last year, that number dropped to 69%. Before you start celebrating, that still means 30 billion unwanted emails are sent each and every day.

Not only is there less spam out in the world, but the report found that the rate of malicious spam has declined as well. Phishing attacks were found in only 1 in every 414 emails, down about 28% for the year. Viruses declined by about 18%.

Symantec credits a number of factors for the decline. Two powerful spam networks were taken down in 2012, meaning it’s harder for people to send spam. Takedowns of some illegal online pharmacies helped curb drug-related spam. Our email providers have gotten better at sending obvious spam right into the trash, making the act of spamming somewhat less lucrative than it was in the past. And more of us are spending time looking at our social media inboxes, so cybercrooks are starting to focus energy there instead.

Of course, just because spam is in decline doesn’t mean it’s any less annoying. If you want to take an even bigger bite out of your own spam problems, Techlicious has a few simple tricks you can use to limit junk mail and boost your own sanity.


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