Do you like spam? No, I'm not kidding. Everybody knows what spam is, almost everybody seems to have learned by heart simple advice like "do not click ?" "do not respond?" , "do not buy?" but--
On March 23, 2005 Mirapoint and the Radicati Group, a consulting and market research firm, released preliminary results of their end-user survey on email hygiene. "This preliminary data is surprising and somewhat shocking to us," said Marcel Nienhuis, market analyst at the Radicati Group.
The survey shows that some end users haven't learned the lesson and still make the same blunders.
Blunder 1 -- clicking on embedded links within spam (not including the unsubscribe link) -- 31% of respondents have done it at least once. The most dangerous mistake.
Clicking on any embedded links in spam messages helps spammers determine 'live' email accounts, which means more spam. What's worse, users can pick viruses, Trojans or other malicious code--just by clicking on embedded links. It may cause various problems, including loss of confidential information--identity theft, and loss of money from bank accounts as a result.
Users shouldn't forget about such threat as phishing. Not long ago, on February. 15, 2005, it was the Radicati Group that pointed out --fraud and phishing types of email are one of the fastest growing segments of spam. In the first quarter of 2005 the Radicati Group expects fraudulent emails to reach 8% of all spam.
Blunder 2 -- trying to unsubscribe to spam using the 'unsubscribe' link in the email -- 18% of respondents
Some users are naive enough to think that spammers really won't send any junk mail to their addresses if they tell them not to. Haven't they heard that spammers use the unsubscribe link solely to identify active email accounts. When individual email addresses or entire domains are found to be active, they are doomed to flood of spam.
Blunder 3 -- What's more: Over 10% of respondents have purchased products advertised in spam. Sending out huge volumes of spam is very cheap, so let's face it--spam is an effective means of advertising. Spam is booming, and these 10% users who actually bought anything advertised by spam, are partly to blame for it.
The consequences can be very serious when such a user is at work. Online criminals find more and more ways of stealing valuable information, some of these techniques include spam. Spam filters won't solve the whole problem; much still depends on end users. Marcel Nienhuis, analyst from the Radicati Group, was absolutely right when said " no technology in the world can protect an organisation if users' exercise bad email behaviour."
Alexandra Gamanenko currently works at Raytown Corporation, LLC-an independent software developing company. This company provides software capable of disabling information-stealing modules, which can be hidden inside spyware as well as viruses, worms and Trojans.
Learn more -- visit the company's website