Email Spam By the Numbers [Video]

We're all familiar with the irritating experience of opening our email and discovering that the vast majority of the messages we've received are either destined for the spam folder, or already in it. Spam is an increasingly serious problem for email users everywhere. As of 2013, spam emails accounted for nearly 71% of all email traffic, with more than 20% originating in China alone. The United States and South Korea rounded out the top three at 16.8% and 12.6% (respectively), but spam is a growing concern in nations the world 'round.

The DarkSide of Your Inbox

Spam now accounts for nearly three-quarters of all email sent. Learn the facts and surprising numbers in this short video. What's lurking in your inbox?

While some spam is sufficiently ridiculous and amusing (at least to some) to qualify as a distraction rather than a nuisance, spam as a whole is a logistical and financial nightmare. The estimated financial impact of spam messages reached 20 billion dollars as of 2013--and that number is expected to rise as would-be information thieves and scammers develop more and more sophisticated infiltration schemes.

Some of the most well-known spamming tricks include "phishing" for user information (such as with the now-infamous Nigerian Prince scam), sending images with embedded malicious code, and so-called "white texting," which conceals malicious code or keyword stuffing by making the text the same color as the background of the message (rendering it invisible to humans, but perfectly legible to machines). Spammers are also expanding their reach into the mobile market via SMS text.

The threat posed by spam isn't just external, either. Internal spam--jokes, forwards, and other non-business mail sent within companies--has a significant impact on productivity, system performance, and even the environment.

The fight continues, but even as anti-spam technology advances, clever spammers are continuously finding new ways to make sure their messages reach the public eye. Chances are, the dark side of your inbox will remain haunted by spam for years to come.


Further Resources:

Global Spam Map - From TrendMicro

Spam and Phishing Statistics - Detailed report of Spam trends in 2015 from SecureList