Global spam drops to lowest rate in three years – report

6 Dec 2011

The rate of global spam has reached its lowest level in three years, Symantec Corp’s November 2011 Symantec Intelligence Report reveals.

The global ratio of spam in email traffic in November fell by 3.7 percentage points since October to 70.5pc (one in 1.42 emails).

Three years ago, spam accounted for 60.8pc of global emails, the report says. The decline recently has been slower, but spammers have also been using more targeted approaches and are exploiting social media as alternatives to email.

Pharmaceutical spam is now at the lowest level it has been since Symantec began tracking it, accounting for 32.5pc of spam, compared with 64.2pc at the end of 2010.

Geographical spam trends

Spam made up 69.9pc of email in the US and 69.5pc of email in Canada.

European countries also saw their fair share of spam. Spam comprised 70.5pc of email in the Netherlands, 70.1pc of email in Germany and 70.4pc of email in Denmark.

A high amount of email was blocked as spam in Australia (68.6pc), Hong Kong (69.2pc), Singapore (68pc) and Japan (66.6pc).

Spam accounted for 70.1pc of email traffic in South Africa and 74.3pc of email traffic in Brazil.

Spam among sectors

The automotive industry was the most spammed industry sector in November, with a spam rate of 73.0pc. The education sector followed at 71.5pc, and the IT services sector at 69.3pc.

The chemical and pharmaceutical sector saw a spam rate of 69.1pc, followed by the retail sector (69.0pc), the public sector (68.8pc) and the financial sector (69.2pc).

The spam rate for small to medium-sized businesses (consisting of 1-250 employees) was 69.4pc, compared with 69.7.1pc for large enterprises (consisting of more than 2,500 employees).