Americans are less bothered by spam

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The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published the results of a survey about how American’s relate to spam. The overall conclusion is that “The volume of spam is growing in Americans’ personal and workplace email accounts, but email users are less bothered by it.”

So what does this mean for those of us in the spam (er, anti-spam) business?

We could look at it in two ways – the first being that anti-spam methods are basically keeping up with spam which is good news. The other side of the coin is, however – could it simply be that people are getting used to living with spam?

Since at Commtouch we feast on spam and malware three meals a day (!), we see a slightly more nuanced picture. There are some frustrated end-users, but by the time end-users do reach that point, the IT people have been struggling behind the scenes for quite some time. Spam overloads mail servers, overloads storage, and overloads bandwidth. Simply eliminating it from the end-users doesn’t mean that the IT manager has forgotten about spam. On the contrary – unless s/he has a system that is constantly updating itself, the IT manager may need to do consistent updates to various filters in order to stay ahead of the spam game. If end-users start to get frustrated, with the spam in their inboxes, however, that is when the IT manager starts looking into a new solution, and junks their old one, which was keeping him/her too busy to start with.

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