Health and financial spam now dominates, according to Spam-Index, the industry´s most in-depth study of unsolicited e-mail. Spam-Index data reveals spammers appear to turn their backs on pornography, with lewd mails in decline over the last two years. However, sex still sells, with health care spam now consistently dominating email inboxes, with dodgy financial offers.
In June 2003 health care and financial spam together accounted for only 39% of all spam e-mails. Yet according to last month´s analysis of more than 20,000 individual mails, these two sectors encompass more than 80% of the total. In the meantime, pornography, often considered synonymous with unwanted inbox content, now only accounts for 5%, four times less than the first Spam Index analysis.
“Perhaps it´s no surprise that porn´s on the wane,” said Alyn Hockey, director of research, Clearswift. “Even the most basic spam filters can pick up sexual images, but it´s far easier to disguise spam selling health care products as legitimate mail.”
“It´s a relief that our inboxes aren´t as peppered with filth as they once were,” continued Alyn, “but we shouldn´t become complacent. Viruses and spyware use spam e-mail to spread, so businesses of all sizes must ensure they deploy the most robust content filtering software possible to ensure all spam is weeded out.”
The figures would suggest spammers have settled upon health care and financial offers as their tried and tested money earners, preying on people too embarrassed to discuss sensitive difficulties with their doctor, or all too eager to sign up to untested savings plans.