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Americans Spend 40% of Their Time Online Deleting Spam

According to a new report by Mcafee called “Americans and Spam Survey” reports that Americans spend at least 40% of their time online deleting spam from their email inboxes.

  • According to the Americans surveyed, email spam is the No. 1 technology time waster (49%) by wide margins over other tech annoyances including automated voice response systems (24%) and slow Internet connections (19%).
  • 49% of Americans spend more than 40 minutes per week deleting spam, with 14% reporting they spend as much as three and a half hours a week — or 7.5 days per year — on this task.
  • Respondents deleted spam dozens of times more per week (30.6 times) than they did other important activities including calling parents (3.39 times), exercising (3.32 times), reading to kids (2.81 times) and even having sex (2.18 times).
  • Excluding pornography, the survey found that the most common spam messages to reach consumers’ in-boxes were about refinancing (30%), credit counseling (27%) and sexual enhancement products (27%).
  • Spam abuse has become so uncontrolled that consumers polled believe it will take either a Supreme Court ruling (46%) or a spammer getting sent to jail (45%) to put an end to the reign of spam.

Do these numbers measure up with your experience? I’ve found that my email filters are doing a pretty good job bouncing spam out of my inbox, and WordPress handles comment spam really well, but what about you? How much time do you spend messing with spam?

And what do you think it will take to put an end to email spam?


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3 Comments

  1. Posted May 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a lot of people need some better filters. I spend about one-minute a week deleting spam, which typically entails highlighting all the emails that were dumped in my spam folder and hitting “Permanently delete”. I do have a yahoo and several gmail email accounts. My yahoo spam is about 20 times greater than my gmail spam – of which I have about 10 gmail accounts between work and a few sites I manage.

    • Posted May 16, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Gmail has improved greatly on blocking and filtering spam, though it still is in development and not perfect. The false/positive rate is improving, so sayeth the person that just sucked two emails out of it. :D Comment spam filters and devices like Akismet and Bad Behavior are excellent and improve through crowd sourcing, learning as they go. When new comment spam arrives, it makes it through. By marking it as spam, the information is collected and sent to Akismet which learns. Bad Behavior also learns, blocking the spam before it reaches your site. Awesome tools. I think email services could learn a lot from them.

    • Posted May 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I have several WP.org sites and I use Akismet in all of them. I’m very impressed with how well it works.


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