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25 March 2010, 13:30

Spam goes down well

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MAAWG Logo According to a recent study by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) spammers on both sides of the Atlantic are being kept happy by users' email behaviour. The MAAWG warning seems necessary as there are clearly more than enough users who click on spam email because it somehow looks interesting, in spite of all the danger signs.

The MAAWG study has, for the first time, been extended to European countries and includes the previous years US-only results for context. According to the group's findings, more than half (57%) of surveyed adults have responded to spam in such a way that it supports the perpetrators of the spam. This includes opening attachments to an email, forwarding an email or clicking on links. Almost half of this group, 46%, nearly a quarter of the population, said they did so deliberately, to "unsubscribe", out of curiosity, or out an interest in the products on offer.

Looking beyond past misdemeanours, the MAAWG also surveyed current patterns of how users handle spam emails. 61% of users said they do not open spam email, 44% move it to their junk folder and 39% press the "spam" button. Overall, 11% of those surveyed say they have clicked on a link in spam.

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