Spam now makes up significantly more than half of all email, according to latest figures from MessageLabs.
The email management company said on Monday that the amount of unsolicited email sloshing round the Internet is still soaring. Last June, according to MessageLabs, just over 2 percent of email that the company filtered was spam, but by May this year the figure had soared to 55 percent -- a rise of some 2,400 percent in under a year. Other experts have estimated that the amount of spam being received by email users is doubling every six months.
MessageLab's warning came on the eve of the Spam Summit, where politicians and industry figures will come together to debate the growing problem of unsolicited, and often pornographic, email that is choking the nation's inboxes.
The event has been organised by the parliamentary All Party Internet Group (APIG). Derek Wyatt, chairman of the APIG, hopes that Tuesday's summit will generate a series of recommendations on how the address the spam problem.
MessageLabs has also calculated the impact that spam is having on company profits.
It believes that a firm that employs 500 people is losing around £3,300 per month in lost productivity through dealing with unsolicited email -- if it hasn't introduced effective antispam measures.
For a company with a workforce of 5,000 employees, this figure rises to £32,771 per month, or almost £400,000 per year.
More details can be seen on the MessageLabs Web site.