Roughly 60 per cent of all email is spam. That’s a pretty scary statistic right? But given the veritable tsunami of the stuff that’s dropped into my in-tray this week I can well believe it. In the past day alone, I have been bombarded with a plethora of messages from, amongst others, SluttyFriend who apparently has an InstaBang request for me. Whatever that is. Along the same sordid lines was NextDoorF***Me who rather worryingly told me that they are ‘Waiting in Bed For Me’. Tempting? Not so much. Have you seen my next door neighbours?
Then amongst all the usual flotsam and jetsam of PPI claims, how to date a Russian lady and numerous Credit Card offers I get an email from a certain Lauren Mitchell (nope, I’ve never of her) telling me I have won precisely $86726.17 – well that’s such an accurate amount then it must be true right? Right???
So then, it’s safe to conclude that spam is simply getting worse.
The reality is that despite the pervading feeling that spam is actually getting worse, a recent report by Symantec claims that we’ve actually hit a 12 year low. Their latest data reveals that the percentage of spam rate for June 2015 was down to just 49.7 per cent which represents a 0.6 per cent decrease since May making it the lowest spam rate since 2003. What’s more, phishing and email-based malware also recorded a significant decline in June.
But it’s not all good news. On the downside, the same report indicated that there were more than 57 million new variants of malware created last month, up from 44.5 million in May. Ransomware, which blocks access to a computer unless a fee is paid, is also on the rise after a 12 month low in April, and is now up to more than 477,000 attacks.
So what’s the best way to protect yourself against all this unsolicited junk? Well according to Google you need to get a Gmail account as they claim that their new Postmaster Tool will filter out a staggering 99.9 per cent of spam. Beyond that then obviously you should never (ever) open anything that looks vaguely dodgy, you should change your passwords regularly and even consider using an alternative email address as a back up. That way, as the email from Pre-Paid Funerals ‘cheerfully’ reminded me this morning, then you will have one less thing to worry about…