Spam soaring and viruses a constant threat

What an upbeat state of affairs...

What an upbeat state of affairs...

Computer users' inboxes continue to be littered with threats, nuisances and costly and unwanted emails - and there is no sign of this situation easing.

Volumes of spam email are continuing to soar month-on-month and the levels of virus-infected emails remain constant and high.

According to figures from email security firm MessageLabs, spam now accounts for around 76 per cent of all email traffic. Mark Sunner, CTO of MessageLabs, described the growth of spam as a "constant upwards curve" which still shows no signs of stopping.

Given that situation it's unsurprising that a separate report from US research firm Nucleus claims the cost of dealing with spam has doubled on last year.

The company claims the average annual cost per employee of dealing with spam is now $1,934 - based on interviews with 82 Fortune 500 companies. According to the findings the average employee receives nearly 7,500 spam messages per year - up from 3,500 last year.

Handling this deluge of unsolicited email reportedly costs employees 3.1 per cent of their working day, every year. In monetary terms that works out as £775 wasted for every £25,000 of salary. Across a large organisation it will soon add up.

Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research of Nucleus, blamed "weak legislation" for the continuing rise in spam levels. That opinion was backed up by Symantec CEO John Thompson who last week referred to the US Can Spam law as "the stupidest piece of legislation ever passed, anywhere in the world".