The Truth About Spam

Contrary to the alarmist front page story on spam in today’s NY Times, the truth is that spam has become a managable problem.

Longtime readers of this blog won’t be surprised by that statement coming from me, as I’ve posted my thoughts on the subject here, and here, and here.

The Times shows this graph of the total amount of spam as a percentage of email on the Internet.

Unchecked_spam_1 

I am not arguing with this graph.  It’s a fact that there is a ton of spam out there on the Internet.

But how much of it gets into your inbox?

I checked mine last night.  I got about 100 messages from 9pm last night until 6am this morning.  Only 10 of them were spam.  That’s 10%.  That’s lower than its ever been, thanks to Postini, my spam filter company.

Postini’s not the only one who does this for Internet users.  There’s Brightmail, now part of Symantec. There’s Cloudmark, and a host of others. And then there’s Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, Google Mail, who all filter spam from inboxes.

It’s a big problem for all of them, but they are in that business.  They make money doing it in one way or another.

Think about this.  What percent of the postal mail you get every day is useless to you?  For me its about 75%.  And I have nobody filtering it.

With email, the filters work and they are going to get better and better and better.

Too bad the people at the New York Times would rather be Chicken Little.  I guess it sells more papers.