Study: 35% of Corporate Users Click on Spam Links

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With nearly half of respondents to a recent survey saying they get morespam now than they did just a month ago, it's not good news that 35percent of corporate users admit to opening up spam and clicking on alink inside.

It's even worse when it comes to consumers, according to the study fromthe Radicati Group, a messaging and consulting firm based in Palo Alto,Calif., and Mirapoint, a messaging specialist based in Sunnyvale, Calif.Forty-two percent of consumers say they have clicked on a link in a spammessage, potentially downloading viruses, spyware or Trojan horses. Atthe least, clicking on the link lets spammers know that they have hitupon a working email account, which will keep the spam coming fast andfurious.

And the numbers, according to Radicati and Mirapoint analysts, show thatto be true.

Talking to users who have clicked on links in spam email, 57 percent ofthem say they receive more spam now than they did five months ago.

''This preliminary data is surprising and somewhat shocking to us,'' saysMarcel Nienhuis, market analyst at the Radicati Group. ''It explains whyemail security threats, including spam, viruses and phishing scamscontinue to proliferate. Major advancements in technology approaches thatroutinely achieve 90 percent plus catch rates are becoming widelyavailable, yet no technology in the world can protect an organization ifusers exercise bad email behavior.''

Logging into the bad email behavior category goes those users whoactually buy into spam's sales pitch.

The study, which surveyed 791 users in March and April of this year,shows that 13 percent of corporate users and 11 percent of consumers saythey have bought products and services advertised in spam.

Here are some other interesting notes from the study:

  • Respondents to the survey say 39 percent of the email in theirinboxes is spam. For corporate users, that number is slightly lower,coming in at 33 percent. Consumers report the number at 42 percent;
  • Forty-nine percent of both corporate users and consumers say spamhas increased in the last six months. Twenty-four percent say it's aboutthe same;
  • They survey shows that 9 percent of corporate users, who tend torely on email the most, are using email less because of spam;
  • And 10 percent of corporate users say they use the Internet as awhole less because of spam;
  • One-third of users have been dissuaded from communicating onlinewith banks and financial institutions because of spam, phishing attacksand other email scams;
  • The survey also shows that 18 percent of users reported receiving IMspam, or Spim, in the last three months.
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