The Death Of Email?

By | July 26, 2004

Could spam and viruses kill off email?

Folk seem to think so, if a world-wide survey by Message Labs, the email security people, is anything to go by (no URL available yet, sorry). They found that 6 out of 10 companies would give up email if the threat posed by viruses, spam and other malware is not contained and a viable alternative emerges.

It seems that people’s concerns are not identical: More than 20 per cent of respondents indicated that online fraud such as phishing and identity theft will be the greatest threat. Viruses achieved a similar rating (21 per cent). Some 18 per cent rated the leakage of confidential or sensitive information as the main issue, while 15 per cent thought the biggest threat would be the potential for industrial espionage.

On one thing, however, folk do agree: More than 40 per cent predict that levels of junk email will more than double over the next 10 years, and a further 24 per cent expect it to rise by more than 50 per cent. Only four per cent think it will be non-existent.

My tuppennies’ worth: Email will get better. It has to, or else spam really will bury us. I think folk should start agreeing on a new system of authentification and a serious way of making it too expensive for people to send bulk email, both financially and legally.

One thought on “The Death Of Email?

  1. Wolfgang

    Or, we could all agree not to respond to SPAM anymore. Boycot companies that send unsollicited email. They will learn soon enough.

    Problem is, millions of people never read what they sign and they have all signed themselves up for the enormous amounts of SPAM they receive…

    Stamps on email? The idea is nice, but how are you going to enforce it? What’s stopping anyone from rolling his/her own SMTP server and connecting it to the ‘Net? Micropayments, you say? The system to collect those payments will be more expensive than what people are prepared to pay for sending email.

    Legislative measures? Nice. Now how are you going to convince, say Syria, to play along? Want to prosecute the businesses themselves? They’ll setup shop in Syria, how’s that?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t see how we can solve a problem like SPAM when we ourselves sign up for that shit and keep responding to it. SPAM is a marketing tool. And like any marketing tool, it’s rendered useless if people stop responding to it.


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