It makes daily weeding a problem for many, because the filters we have are usually either too aggressive, which means we will have needed e-mails put in the trash folder, or not aggressive enough, which means there are still far too many unneeded, and unrequested e-mails for all sorts of products, services, and general things we don’t need.

A story on TechSpot tells us that Symantec, apparently the self-appointed chronicler of the Spam Crisis, states that it was a bumper crop year for the stuff in 2009. –

According to a recent report by Symantec, a whopping 87.4% of this year’s email messages were spam. That figure peaked in May, with spam accounting for 95% of all emails in the month. At its lowest, spam emails accounted for 73.8% of emails in early 2009 after the US ISP McColo was shut down in late 2008.

Celebrity spam attacks surged, thanks in part to the numerous high-profile deaths this year including Patrick Swayze, Natasha Richardson, and most of all, Michael Jackson. At its height, Jackson-related spam made up nearly 2% of all spam messages.
Symantec noted that image spam reemerged at levels not observed since early 2007, accounting for 22% of all spam email. Other 2009 highlights include an uptick in malicious attachments and the continued migration of spam to new mediums like blogs and social networks.
Symantec believes 2010 will be an active year for spammers, with botnets playing a significant role in distributing the junk. You can read the company’s 17-page report here for a complete look at recent spam trends.

The trouble with this is that the worse the economy gets, the more of this we are going to see. so spam is just another problem with a bad economic outlook. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants you to spend money on something, and what better way to advertise than by getting you to foot the delivery bill. (Unless your internet connection is free, you are paying for the delivery.)

As I said, I’ve tried various filters, and also used Outlook, which has a fairly good filter, but always removes a few too many e-mails. It was not long ago Microsoft recommended a system where everyone would sign up to get an authorizing number, and so the plan was that spam would be eliminated, ostensibly because the spammers would not pay, or would be afraid to sign up, knowing they could then be traced.

Well, no one wanted to pay for it, and no one was happy that it was a Microsoft plan. Some variation of that idea should be again considered, because parts of it had real merit.

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SimonBarSinisterMaybe we should put Dick Cheney on the job…it’ll give him something useful to do.

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