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Drop in Spam Levels Reported

25 February 2019 - 09:57 by David Aiken

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Good news for consumers who want to avoid online scams came in the form of the latest study conducted by Return Path into the breadth and effectiveness of spam email campaigns.

Analysts revealed that last year saw a five per cent drop in the volumes of spam sent to users worldwide, with this reduction coming after a 24-month period of growth for this malicious practice.

Interestingly, there was also a rise in the number of people reporting the spam they received in 2018, suggesting that web users are becoming more widely aware of this issue and are perhaps better equipped to take action.

The growing understanding of what spam is, how it looks and how it can be avoided might be seen as an explanation for the dip in its prevalence. Cybercriminals are likely spending more time trying out other techniques to steal information and trick their victims, because spam is a less viable option than it was in the past.

The research examined the different kinds of spam messages that are used and the industries which they attempt to impersonate. Banking and finance remain at the bottom of the pile in terms of sheer spam volumes, presumably as a result of efforts made within the industry to battle this issue.

When carrying out safe shopping online, users can expect to receive legitimate emails from any retail sites where they place orders. Problems arise when phoney emails from seemingly genuine sources are received and they are not filtered out automatically or recognised as spam by the victim.

Generally, any emails which call for recipients to hand over personal information, provide them with an offer that is too good to be true or feature poorly written copy can be singled out as spam. Deleting suspect emails without opening them is always the best option.