How much of all email is spam?
Spam is everywhere these days. It may be in your inbox or on social media, and it can even come from your mobile phone! The amount of spam sent out each year has gone up dramatically over recent years - but why does this happen? And how can you reduce the number of messages that end up in your junk folder? We've got some shocking numbers for you here...
We're going to look at the various reasons that people send their own personal data (and other sensitive information) through their email address, as well as the consequences when they don't pay attention to those rules.
What triggers emails to go to spam?
A huge reason that we receive so many unnecessary emails every day is because our inboxes have been stuffed with them. This usually happens by accident, though there are plenty of ways that you could trigger an unwanted message into being delivered straight to your mailbox too.
Here are just three main examples:
You might post something online accidentally
If you share content via Facebook or Twitter, then someone else will see it. If they click on it, they'll immediately start receiving notifications about anything you like to read. You should check your notifications settings before doing this, however, to make sure it doesn't cause any problems.
An advert gets pasted onto something you write
For example, if you include a link to a website somewhere within your text, an advertisement could appear alongside it. Or perhaps you use a tool like Grammarly which automatically checks spelling mistakes while you type. Either way, you'd need to change your settings so that ads aren't displayed anywhere near words that Google thinks contain links.
Someone sends you an email directly
This one isn't actually very common right now since most users only ever sign up to one webmail service. But if you were using Gmail or Outlook.com, you'd probably have seen a pop-up asking whether you wanted to add another email account soon after signing up. That would mean that anyone who signed up to that particular domain would also get notified whenever you sent an email to any new addresses that you added to your list.
The truth is that most people won't notice any of these things happening unless they really want to know about them. So if you find yourself thinking "why did my inbox fill up with a bunch of spam?" chances are that you didn't set up your accounts correctly.
That said, if you suspect that someone hacked into your account, then please contact us immediately. There are lots of companies around today that offer services designed to help protect against malicious activity like this, but unfortunately there's no easy way to prevent it once it's already happened.
So, let's take a look at the next big problem facing everyone trying to keep their inbox clean.
Why am I suddenly getting a lot of spam emails?
One thing that makes spam particularly annoying is that it arrives at random times. Most people expect that they'll always receive mail during certain hours of the day, and not others. However, if a large number of people decide to sign up to the same free email provider, then the server will become overloaded with incoming requests.
There are several different methods used to deliver spam emails, including ones where the sender spoofs the IP address of the recipient. These techniques are called'spoofing' and work by changing the source location of the email to trick recipients into accessing it instead of realising that it was never intended for them in the first place.
In fact, some estimates suggest that more than half of all Internet traffic comes from spam. This means that a significant portion of everything you view online is likely to be fake news or advertising disguised as actual information. Not good!
It's important to note that a lot of websites use automated software tools to detect suspicious behaviour and block attempts at hacking. Some sites employ human moderators who monitor user comments and remove posts deemed inappropriate. Others rely on artificial intelligence programs to identify and delete spam messages quickly without human intervention.
These systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they often result in fewer false positives. For instance, a 2014 study found that AI filters had reduced the rate of false positives by 99 percent compared to humans alone.
However, despite improvements made by technology, it still seems impossible to eliminate spam entirely. Spam tends to target specific types of personas rather than specific individuals, meaning that there's a high chance that your name hasn't been included in any lists yet. Plus, hackers continue to attempt to bypass detection algorithms by inventing new tricks.
With all that in mind, it's clear that we're unlikely to completely eradicate spam until computers develop the ability to think like us.
How do I stop getting so many spam emails?
Unfortunately, there's little you can do about individual spam emails except unsubscribe when necessary. Once you give away your email address, you can't stop other people contacting you. Even if you remove your details from mailing lists, you'll still receive unsolicited messages anyway due to the sheer size of the network.
But there are steps you can take to decrease the overall level of spam received by your inbox. Here are five suggestions:
Only subscribe to newsletters that you genuinely enjoy reading. Don't worry about missing out on sales pitches - just remember that you'll miss out on interesting articles too.
Make sure that you whitelist reputable sources such as news agencies that publish stories that you trust. If you follow a popular blogger, then you can ask him or her to verify that you can trust the newsletter he or she publishes.
Try to avoid sharing your personal information across multiple platforms simultaneously. In order to receive updates from friends and family, you may need to provide them with access to your profile on several different apps or websites. Make sure to double-check that none of these platforms are sending you unwanted messages.
Set up filters to ensure that you only open messages from trusted contacts. If you don’t recognise the email address attached to a message, then it’s best to ignore it.
Don’t forget to enable two-factor authentication features wherever possible. A lot of major businesses now require customers to log in using a password plus additional code provided by SMS or app notification. By adding extra security layers, you'll increase the likelihood that attackers fail to gain entry.
Have a quick browse through our guide to blocking spam to learn more about what you can do to stop unwanted emails reaching your inbox.
Finally, try to stay positive. Remember that most people don't deliberately set out to send you spam. They simply haven't considered the impact of giving away their email address. Instead of worrying about the occasional bad experience, focus on the benefits of having a reliable inbox. When you feel confident enough, you'll find that you can easily spot spam emails coming your way.
Global spam volume continues to rise rapidly. According to research conducted by Akamai Technologies, worldwide spam volumes rose by 16.9 percent between January 2018 and December 2019. At the time of writing, global spam volumes stood at roughly 2 trillion pieces annually – although this figure is expected to grow significantly over the course of 2020.
As a result, we're seeing more and more people turning to third party email providers to host their domains. Many of these services allow you to manage your entire email infrastructure under one roof, and they tend to charge less money than standard hosting packages.
While this option is ideal for small business owners looking to cut down costs, it's worth noting that third parties generally lack the resources needed to combat spam effectively. As a result, you'll probably encounter far higher levels of spam along with increased rates of malware infections and phishing attacks.
So, if you run a small site, consider creating your own email servers instead. Doing this will involve investing heavily in hardware, but the effort required will pay off handsomely in terms of both reliability and performance.
At the time of writing, a handful of independent experts estimate that upwards of 95 percent of all Internet traffic is composed of spam. Although this figure is disputed, it certainly suggests that a great deal of people are unaware of the potential dangers associated with opening unknown attachments or clicking on unexpected URLs.
In short, there's a strong case to be made for taking care when browsing the world wide web. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can follow to improve your safety net. Take advantage of the advice below to limit the amount of harmful material that reaches your inbox.
When you open your inbox and see a bunch of messages from people you don't know, it can feel like a bit of a shock. It's not just that these emails contain links or attachments that cause problems for recipients—it's also that they're almost always unwanted. But there's nothing particularly new about this situation. In fact, we've been living with unsolicited mail since long before e-mail was even invented.
The problem is, while most of us have grown accustomed to dealing with junk email over time, it still comes as something of a surprise when we first encounter it. And if you want to understand why so much spam ends up being delivered to our devices every day, then you need to learn more about exactly where it comes from. Fortunately, we have some pretty good stats on the subject.
While we could spend pages trying to explain the difference between legitimate and illegitimate emails, the reality is that most of them fall somewhere in the middle. Most of those emails aren’t malicious at all, but rather come from sources who genuinely wanted to send their content to someone else. These types of messages were once called “unsolicited bulk email” (UBE) because they used methods similar to traditional snail mail.
However, UBE has become a very different beast today thanks to the rise of modern technology. Not only do such emails now arrive via the Internet instead of through regular postal services, but they often look quite different than their predecessors too. As a result, they can be difficult to identify as UBE by both users and ISPs alike.
In addition to these changes, the way that we use computers has changed drastically as well. We no longer sit down together to read newspapers or magazines, nor do we typically hold meetings where everyone gathers around a table to discuss important business matters. Instead, our interactions with other human beings happen online. So it makes sense that the same technological advances should apply here too.
That means that we receive far more emails than ever before. While there isn't any official data available, one estimate puts the number anywhere between 3 billion and 9 billion emails each week. That works out to more than 1 million pieces of email received per second! This amount represents roughly 25 percent of total email traffic worldwide.
As more and more people start using smartphones and tablets, things will only continue to grow worse. According to Cisco Systems' annual Security Report, global mobile device shipments grew 27 percent year-over-year in 2017 alone. By 2021, that figure is expected to reach 7 trillion units shipped annually.
This rapid growth presents significant challenges for companies that rely heavily on digital communication tools, especially those whose main focus is delivering marketing materials. The sheer number of potential customers creates a lot of opportunities for businesses to make money off of them. However, the sheer size of the market also leads to increased competition among vendors. As a result, there's a growing incentive to try and find ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. One popular strategy involves sending out tons of promotional emails that attempt to trick users into clicking on them.
How many spam emails does an average person get?
If you think about it, almost everything you do online leaves traces behind it. Every time you log onto Facebook, browse Twitter, check Gmail, or download files using BitTorrent, you leave behind a trail of information that allows marketers to track your activities across multiple websites and platforms. All of which gives them plenty of data points to work with.
Of course, not all of these communications are intended to harm anyone. Sometimes, they may even be helpful. For example, it's possible to opt out of targeted ads simply by changing your browser settings. Nevertheless, even if these kinds of measures are taken, advertisers are usually able to collect enough information to craft personalized pitches aimed specifically at individuals based on specific characteristics.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of emails aren't created with your best interests in mind. Many of them are designed solely to generate revenue for whoever paid for them. A single piece of email can include dozens of links, images, videos, forms, advertisements, and other elements meant to keep you hooked until the next message arrives. Some of these tactics are outright illegal under certain circumstances, although that doesn't stop unscrupulous actors from deploying them anyway.
It's worth noting that all of this behavior goes beyond simple fraud. There are entire industries devoted to creating large quantities of junk email, sometimes referred to as "spamming." While these efforts tend to involve automated processes, they're still considered to be part of the larger category of "cybercrime" and are therefore treated accordingly by law enforcement agencies.
One recent report found that nearly 85 percent of all emails are spam. How many emails end up in spam?
According to Spamhaus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting cyber crime, 90 percent of all incoming email falls under its definition of “junk mail.” That includes anything that attempts to sell products, promote political causes, advertise fake news stories, or otherwise offer goods and services without permission.
For comparison purposes, consider that less than 5 percent of all commercial emails actually constitute spam according to the Federal Trade Commission. In contrast, the FTC estimates that 95 percent of all commercial emails fall into the category known as “direct response advertising.” Even though these messages contain links to external sites, they're generally not considered spam unless they violate federal laws related to deceptive practices.
How many emails go to spam?
We might assume that most of the emails we receive never made it past our ISP filters, but that assumption would be incorrect. According to research conducted by researchers at University College London, 97 percent of emails containing URLs ended up going straight to spam folders within two minutes.
But that's not the worst of it. An analysis performed by Akamai Technologies found that approximately 16 percent of all emails end up getting classified as spam after merely six hours of processing. Another study published by MIT found that 40 percent of all emails eventually make it to a user’s trash folder. Meanwhile, an investigation carried out by security firm PhishMe revealed that 98 percent of all emails containing phishing attacks ultimately land in the recipient’s spam box.
With regard to personal correspondence, studies suggest that upwards of 80 percent of all emails end up landing in the spam bin. Of course, this varies depending on factors including whether or not the sender included a return address and how closely the recipient follows the rules set forth by his or her ISP regarding the delivery of non-essential items.
Even if your ISP uses sophisticated filtering software, there's still a chance that you'll accidentally hit the wrong button and wind up receiving unwanted material. You might think that your chances of doing so are extremely slim, but that's not necessarily true.
A 2016 survey commissioned by Google suggests that nearly half of all adult Americans have clicked on a link contained in an email that wound up going directly to their spam folder. Those results are likely skewed due to the fact that participants self-reported their actions, which inevitably introduces bias. Still, even if these estimates are accurate, it shows that a huge portion of spam gets through the cracks.
What percentage of emails sent are spam?
These figures vary widely from country to country. According to the aforementioned report produced by Akamai, Germany and Japan had the lowest rates of spam, whereas India and Brazil had the highest. If we take a closer look at the numbers reported by Akamai, however, we discover that the rate of spam differs greatly depending on the type of email involved.
Let's say you receive a message offering you tickets to an upcoming event. Is that really spam? Technically speaking, yes. However, if you click on the URL provided in the body of the message, you'll probably end up visiting a website owned by a third party. Therefore, this particular instance of spam wouldn't technically qualify as such. Instead, it'd be categorized as "inappropriate content," which is another term commonly employed by ISPs.
On the flip side, let's imagine that you receive a direct solicitation from a company asking you to purchase a product. That's clearly spam. Yet again, if you follow the instructions provided in the email itself and visit the corresponding web page, you'll encounter yet another level of deception. At least in theory, this kind of email would trigger an automatic alert from a reputable antivirus program.
What happens if you ignore the warning signs presented by these emails? Well, that depends entirely on whether or not your ISP sends out warnings whenever suspicious activity occurs. Unfortunately, not all providers are required to provide this sort of service. Instead, they must comply with legislation passed during the 1990s that established minimum requirements pertaining to spam control.
There's currently a bill working its way through Congress that would require ISPs to implement stricter policies relating to spam protection. Called the CANSPAM Act, this measure seeks to protect consumers against various threats posed by spam campaigns. Although supporters claim that it won't impose unnecessary restrictions on free speech, opponents argue that it unfairly targets small businesses that lack resources needed to fight back effectively.
Spam has become a huge problem for everyone who uses the Internet. If you're not familiar with it yet, think about this: Do you have any idea how much junk mail gets delivered every single month? It can be anywhere from 10 million to 100 billion messages that get through your inbox each and every year. That’s an average of 1-2 percent of all incoming email being sent by scammers trying to steal money or personal information out of unsuspecting victims.
If you're thinking “how does that even happen?!?,” let me explain: There are companies making millions off of sending these kinds of unsolicited messages to people around the world via their computer network systems. They do this through automated software programs called bots which send billions of emails per hour. This process makes it extremely difficult to determine if something is truly legitimate or not. And as a result, more than 90% of all email ends up going straight into the trash bin without ever being read at all.
In fact, according to Spam Facts & Figures 2020 (PDF), there were over 3 trillion spam emails sent globally during 2019 alone! The number one reason why so many end up in the garbage bin? People don't know how to spot fake emails. In addition to that, most users won't take the time to check whether they've received an original message from someone or not before simply deleting them. Unfortunately, this means that there will always be a certain amount of spam emails coming through our computers' networks on a regular basis.
So, how much of all email is spam? How much of all email goes to spam? Is receiving spam emails common? Let's find out.
What percentage of emails are spam?
According to data collected by Symantec during 2018, almost 85% of all emails are spam. That translates to roughly 2.5 trillion spam emails being sent worldwide each and every year. Of course, depending on where you live, the amount of spam may vary quite a bit. For instance, China had the highest rate of spam in the world back then – 97%, while Australia only saw 92%. On the other hand, North America was second lowest with 84%, followed closely by Europe at 83%.
But regardless of where you come down on those numbers, it still leaves us with a lot of spam emails floating around cyberspace right now. So, how exactly does such high rates of spam email work? Well, when we say that a website sends spam emails, it usually refers to a scammer attempting to trick you into handing over sensitive financial information like bank account details or credit card numbers. Or it could be a malicious hacker using social engineering tricks to try and gain access to your private accounts online. Either way, once that person gains control of your email address, he'll start bombarding you with unwanted notifications and marketing pitches.
In short, spamming isn't just some shady practice used by bad guys looking to make quick cash off of innocent folks. Instead, it's actually a very profitable business model used by criminals across the globe. As long as there are people willing to pay big bucks for anything related to cryptocurrency scams, ransomware attacks, or identity theft, then hackers will keep finding new ways to profit off of them.
Now, I'm sure you're probably wondering "why would anyone want to spend $100+ dollars a year to receive almost 80% of all incoming email?" But the truth is that there are plenty of reasons why people might choose to subscribe to various types of newsletters, websites, offers, etc. Some examples include:
Coupons - You can save hundreds of dollars each and every week buying things online because retailers offer coupons or deals for products that you wouldn't normally buy otherwise. These days, if you aren't subscribed to a newsletter full of coupon codes, discounts, and sales, then you really should consider doing so. Otherwise, you're missing out on tons of savings opportunities.
Newsletters - Whether it's sports news, entertainment gossip, health updates, or politics, you can easily learn a ton about current events and trends happening throughout the country and around the world thanks to popular newsletters. Plus, having access to timely and relevant articles helps you stay informed about whatever topics you're interested in learning about.
Shopping - Sometimes, you need to purchase items online but you don't feel comfortable giving away your real name or mailing address. Fortunately, shopping sites often provide customers with temporary login IDs that allow them to place orders without needing to reveal too much personally identifiable information. However, if you never unsubscribe from any ecommerce site you visit, then you risk becoming a victim of identity fraud.
As you can see above, there are countless benefits associated with subscribing to different types of newsletters and other digital content subscriptions instead of opting to delete everything that comes into your email box. Unfortunately, though, there are also plenty of downsides involved as well. For example, it's possible that some advertisers use your subscription list to deliver ads directly to your screen whenever they decide to create a new product or service. Even worse, some unscrupulous marketers use techniques known as clickbait to convince consumers to open suspicious attachments within emails.
What percentage of emails go to spam?
When it comes to specific percentages, however, it depends on what kind of user you are. So, let's break it down based on several factors:
Individual vs corporate email addresses: According to Email Statistics Report 2020 (PDF) published by Radicati Group, 94% of all individual email addresses get caught in the trap of spam whereas only 54% of business email addresses fall under that category. Now, it's important to note that businesses typically use a combination of both individual and corporate addresses due to the fact that employees sometimes share their own work email addresses with clients and vendors. Still, it does show that individuals tend to suffer a higher chance of falling prey to spam compared to corporations.
Email client vs webmail: When it comes to desktop applications, Outlook Express tops the chart at 99% whereas Gmail only sees 97% of its emails ending up in the spam folder. Meanwhile, Google Chrome leads the pack among browser apps with 98% of its emails landing in the trash bin. Lastly, Yahoo Mail falls behind at 93% while Microsoft Office 365 experiences 86% of its emails ending up in the spam folder.
The bottom line here is that as soon as you begin creating multiple email accounts for yourself, you increase your chances of getting hit hard by spam. So, if you already have a few separate email addresses set up for family members, friends, colleagues, coworkers, clients, and others, you should consider setting up dedicated filters in order to ensure that no junk mail enters your main inbox anymore. Also, remember that you can opt to forward emails from unknown sources to another email account in case they contain potentially harmful links or files attached to them.
Is getting spam emails common?
Unfortunately, yes. Despite years upon years of progress made towards improving cybersecurity practices, cybercriminals continue to utilize sophisticated methods to hack into computer networks and steal valuable information from unsuspecting targets. As a result, you shouldn't assume that nobody will ever attempt to rob you blind via fraudulent emails, text messages, phone calls, etc.
For instance, just last January, researchers discovered that a group of Russian hackers had been able to compromise thousands of devices belonging to energy giant Chevron Corporation. Once inside, they were able to install malware that allowed them to spy on company executives and gather confidential documents that contained trade secrets and valuable internal research reports.
Another recent incident occurred back in November 2020 when British Airways announced that it suffered a massive security breach involving the loss of customer data including flight itineraries, contact info, passport scans, and more. After investigating the matter further, authorities revealed that the attackers stole approximately 380GB worth of unencrypted data and then attempted to sell it to third parties.
And while these incidents represent major breaches of privacy, there are times when hackers target smaller organizations and small groups of individuals rather than large corporations. For example, in April 2021, researchers discovered that dozens of email servers owned by an unnamed university in California had been hacked and infected with a piece of malicious code which enabled hackers to capture passwords, banking credentials, and other sensitive information.
Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself against potential threats posed by rogue emails. Just recently, for instance, Apple released iOS 13.3 beta 3 which includes improvements designed to help prevent targeted phishing campaigns from taking advantage of a variety of vulnerabilities. Other features included in the update include support for Face ID and TouchID authentication, improved Safari tracking protection capabilities, and additional protections for iCloud backups stored on external drives.
Lastly, if you'd prefer to avoid opening any emails that look suspicious, you should enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. Doing this allows you to confirm that whoever is contacting you is indeed the intended recipient since they must prove themselves with a secret passcode generated by either their smartphone app or authenticator device. Additionally, you can rest easy knowing that your password is encrypted locally on your mobile device and nowhere else.