Security Corner

May 11 2009   8:44PM GMT

Real Spam Statistics

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Depending on whose reports you view, spam accounts for from 85 to 95 percent of all emails sent. This may hold true over the Internet at large, but as with any other statistical data, there are local and regional variations. My own inbox is an exception to the general rule; I get far more legitimate emails than spam.

The company I work for provides spam filtering for several SMBs, so I have to hand real data that I can evaluate. Based on last week’s numbers, we processed nearly 100,000 messages in our filters. Of those messages, nearly 70,000–70%–were spam; nearly 30,000–30%–were accepted as legitimate. Our data has its own wild variations: one set is very low with only 18% spam; another set reaches a high of 92% spam.

I’m not a statistician, but it’s easy for me to see how big a problem spam has become. I’m not ready to say email is dead as a business communication medium, but it certainly needs an overhaul.

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