Another Spamming Record

You’re probably getting bored of spam statistics by now, and I wouldn’t blame you. But here’s another milestone, courtesy of MessageLabs, who monitor this kind of thing: December was a new record, they say, for the ratio of spam to ordinary email. In that month, MessageLabs scanned some 463 million emails and found that 1 in every 1.6, or 62.7% of them, was spam. They don’t give a comparative figure, but their PR says that’s a new record.

Of course, it may just have been the holiday season, although spam this month shows no sign of easing up, either for that reason or for new laws. MessageLabs also do a breakdown by industry, to show which are most vulnerable to getting spam (useful, I guess, if you’re in those industries and you need to measure how big a problem it is for your staff). It turns out the public sector has the smallest problem — only 1 in every 3.65 emails your average civil servant gets is spam — whereas if you’re a healthcare worker, chances are that every 1 in 1.21 emails you get is junk. Go figure.

Here’s another weird statistic. MessageLabs also monitor viruses, and their figures seem to show that, depending on what country and sector you’re in, your chances of a getting an email vary wildly. In U.S. real estate? Relax, only 1 in 439 emails is going to be a virus. In the UK leisure and recreation industry? The likelihood rises to 1 in less than 50. Why would that be?