Feeds

The meaning of spam

Users divided over definition

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Businesses in the US and UK agree that spam is a problem, but according to MessageLabs many users cannot reach a consensus on its definition.

According to MessageLabs' recent survey, an average of 15 percent of e-mails received by businesses contain spam. One third of the respondents to the UK survey said that spam was currently a problem and three quarters of the respondents expected it to become a problem in the future.

Meanwhile, over 50 percent of the respondents to the US survey said that spam represents 30 percent of their daily e-mail load. Furthermore, around half of those questioned who had spam-filtering technology in place said that it was "ineffective" or "very ineffective."

Despite this deluge of unsolicited mail, approximately 58 percent of those questioned in the US said that they do not want to get rid of spam altogether, but need a better way to filter the messages they want from the messages that they would like to block.

"The problem is not only that it gets through, but that firms don't know how to define it," explained Jos White, marketing director at e-mail security development firm MessageLabs. "With viruses it is easy, but one man's spam is potentially another's useful information." Filtering is difficult to implement because users are unable to agree on a definition of spam, MessageLabs claimed.

According to the survey, 90 percent of UK respondents said that spam was promotional or marketing e-mail from someone they did not know, whereas 89 percent said that it was an e-mail containing information clearly irrelevant to their work. Eighty-one percent said it was news or information from someone they didn't know and 71 percent considered it to be an e-mail they did not request, regardless of content or sender.

Only 29 percent said that a promotional e-mail from an organisation they know was spam, with only 12 percent saying the same for news or information from a source they recognised. In contrast nearly a third defined a mass circulation business e-mail from within the company as spam.

The survey was carried out among 160 UK IT directors and managers and 200 general business managers across the US.

© ENN.

Related link

The Real meaning of Spam - the Official Spam web site

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.