Attack of the SPAM!

A few weeks ago, Mo described how people have begun to create temporary, disposable email addresses to combat the rising threat and annoyance of email spam. It shocked me to learn that people are willing to go to such lengths to avoid spam. First, people have to find the website that supports this process, then they have to actually create the email address, and then of course they have to repeat the process a few weeks later. I have enough trouble remembering my single email address that has remained constant for the past three years – the idea of changing email addresses and passwords every couple of weeks terrifies me. (As a side note, I also used to believe that simply not checking my email was an effective countermeasure for spam. Let me tell you, it is not. I currently have 11,259 messages in my inbox.) But I digress. Learning how much trouble people are willing to go through to avoid spam inspired me to find out a little bit more about the spam “industry.” Here are some interesting factoids that I stumbled across:

  • 85 billion spam emails were sent out every day of 2006. That comes out to 32,850,000,000,000 (almost 33 trillion, if I counted my zeroes right) spam messages sent in 2006.[link]
  • The average internet user receives 5,475 spam emails every year. In other words, that’s 15 pieces of spam a day, every single day. Even worse: that number is constantly increasing.[link]
  • Currently, over 83% of all emails are spam.[link]
  • When grouped by continents, spam comes mostly from Europe (35.1%), Asia (33.4%), and North America (22.9%).[link]
  • One of the reasons that spam continues to be global annoyance is the fact that a small number of Internet service providers (ISPs) knowingly sell their services to spam companies. Right now, the networks hosting the most spammers are,, and[link]
  • Believe it or not, spamming is technically legal in the United States, provided it follows a few guidelines set by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.[link]

All in all, I would have to say that these statistics are pretty scary. The fact that there are literally billions of pieces of spam being sent out every day makes me glad that Shoeboxed will be there to help sift through it. Maybe now I’ll actually start checking my email.