Feeds

PCs throw nine sickies a year

'I won't be in today - I got spammed last night'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

British PCs are taking an average of nine sick days a year due to spam and viral attack, Yahoo! claims. This is two more days than the typical Brit spends at home as a result of illness/injury/Euro 2004-induced hangover.

Interestingly, six of these silicon sickies are due to spam, with just three days attributable to viruses. People too are wearying of the spam tsunami, with half of UK computer users claiming that confronting junk emails is more harrowing than sitting in rush-hour traffic gridlock.

Yahoo! surveyed 2,500 punters - half of whom said they'd asked their ISP to pull the finger out in addressing the spam issue. Rather bizarrely, roughly a third would be prepared to "make a drastic lifestyle change, such as exercising five times a week, if it meant an end to spam".

As far as we are aware, this is the first time that jogging and circuit training have been mooted as a solution to spam. And speaking of making the effort, SurfControl's marketing director, Martino Corbelli, reckons that it's the ISPs who should be moving their lardy arses off the sofa: "They never have done much about spam and all the indications are that they are lethargic about fighting the problem," he told the BBC. "They are not listening to their consumers and I can't see that changing."

Yahoo!'s report has been released to coincide with 'Global Anti Spam Day' - a title which rather has the feel of a triumph of hope over expectation. The survey does, nevertheless, highlight a few stats which prove how spam will, inevitably, bring down western civilisation.

For example:

  • 2 per cent of the average worker's salary (£463 out of £20,000) is wasted on spam fighting chores
  • If Spam takes over our emails, our social lives will suffer. For most of us, email is an essential tool in organising our social diaries and staying in touch with friends and family. Two thirds of us (65 per cent) use email to plan our social lives. Over one in five (22 per cent) emails are used to set up social engagements, while one in ten (9 per cent) is to set up a date
  • 70 per cent of British PC users have fallen victim to a computer virus over the past year. Only 46 per cent are aware that computers get viruses by opening attachments, while only 17 per cent know that you can get a virus by downloading a file online
  • Over three quarters (79 per cent) of Brits delete any spam they receive, which does nothing to combat the problem. 53 per cent have notified their ISPs and expect them to take action. 16 per cent reply to junk emails, a sure fire way to get more spam. However, British PC owners are better educated than their European counterparts. In France, 25 per cent reply to spam emails

There you have it. So, while the French do their bit to accelerate our descent into socio-economic anarchy, here is UK communications minister Stephen Timms' overview: "Nobody - be it government, industry or otherwise - can work alone to eliminate the problem overnight, if we are to have an impact on reducing it, the fight against spam demands international co-operation and collaborative campaigns. Yahoo!'s Global Anti Spam Day is exactly the sort of initiative that is critical in raising awareness amongst Web users."

Fair enough. We at El Reg will move immediately to berate our ISP on the lack of tangible anti-spam action. If, that is, our entire IT infrastructure is not at home in bed having over-indulged last night on Nigerian 419 solicitations. ®

Related stories

UK.biz complacent over virus threats
'Spam King' Richter get legal roasting
Viruses and spam hit small firms harder
EU attacks anti-spam industry
Zombie PCs spew out 80% of spam
Two thirds of emails now spam: official

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.