PEW on Spam

PEW on Spam

According to the latest Pew Internet and American Life Project reports, spam is beginning to undermine the integrity of email and degrade life online. The report goes on to conclude that "The huge increase in email spam in recent years is beginning to take its toll on the online world.

Some email users say they are using electronic mail less now because of spam. More people are reporting they trust the online environment less. Increasing numbers are saying that they fear they cannot retrieve the emails they need because of the flood of spam. They also worry that their important emails to others are not being read or received because the recipients' filters might screen them out or the emails might get lost in the rising tide of junk filling people's inboxes."

e-Mail users define spam as:

  • 92% of email users agree that spam is "unsolicited commercial email from a sender they do not know or cannot identify."
  • 92% of email users consider unsolicited messages containing adult content to be spam.
  • 89% consider unsolicited email offering investment deals, financial offers, or money-making schemes to be spam.
  • 76% consider unsolicited messages containing religious or political information to be spam.
  • 32% consider unsolicited commercial email to be spam, even if it came from a sender with whom they've "already done business."

    Other key findings from the report show

  • 52% of email users say spam has made them less trusting of email in general.
  • 80% of email users are bothered by deceptive or dishonest content of spam.
  • 86% of email users report that usually they "immediately click to delete" their incoming spam.
  • 59% of email users describe spam as "annoying, but not a big problem"; 27% of email users say spam is a "big problem" for them.
  • 7% of email users report that they have ordered a product or service that was offered in an unsolicited email.
  • 33% of email users have clicked on a link in unsolicited email to get more information.
  • 54% of personal email users receive 10 or fewer emails on a typical day; 10% handle more than 50.
  • 7% of email users get no spam; just under a third says 80% or more of their inbox is spam.
  • 40% of email users spend fewer than 5 minutes a day dealing with spam; 12% spend a half hour or more.
  • 44% of work email users receive 10 or fewer emails on a typical day; 11% receive over 50.
  • Women are more bothered than men by everything about spam, and in particular, 83% of women are bothered by offensive or obscene content of spam, compared to 68% of men.
  • More young people (18-29 years old) than older people are tolerant of spam; 32% of them say spam is "just part of life on the Internet and is not that big of a deal," compared to 18% of older people.
  • 81% of parents who have children under 18 object to the adult content in spam, compared to 72% of non-parents.

    You can find out more here.

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