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uSwitch Urges ISP & Governments To Combat SPAM

Posted: 04th Oct, 2007 By: MarkJ
Comparison site uSwitch has today urged ISP's, mobile operators and the government to put more effort into combating SPAM (junk e-mail); though they do not appear to suggest any specific measures.

It's claimed that Internet users now receive roughly 82 million junk e-mails per day, which is an increase of 14 million over 15 months ago. Mobile phone users have also been hit hard by 1 million daily junk texts. Overall nearly 90% of people now receive junk compared with 85% in 2006:

Over a quarter (28%) claim that they have experienced problems such as viruses with their computer after receiving spam. While 81% normally delete any unrecognised emails straightaway without opening them, 12% actually open their emails before deleting them and an unknowing 41% - 6.6 million people – have at some stage clicked on a ‘remove me’ button or the equivalent. This single action has potentially far-reaching consequences, confirming to the spammer that the email address is live and has inadequate or ineffective spam filters.

Despite a number of internet providers offering spam filters as part of their package, 1.4 million computer users are still failing to protect their home PC from a spam attack. The same lackadaisical attitude towards spam amongst consumers may also explain why the UK now ranks 4th in the league table for the world’s worst Spam Haven countries, up from 7th place last year.

Steve Weller, Head of Communications Services at uSwitch.com comments: "We urge the Government to introduce stronger rules to govern spam, and to put pressure on mobile networks and internet providers to work harder to stop the problem. Unfortunately, although consumers can take positive steps to filter out email spam, there is currently no such technology for mobiles. If this follows the same pattern as email spam, this problem is set to plague us all for some time to come."

Unfortunately 80% of SPAM comes from gangs operating outside of the UK, notes the 'Easier Finance' article, making it hard to stop. Though the UK's incredibly poor and ill conceived anti-spam rules do little to prevent it here; in fact hardly anybody has faced prosecution.

Certainly UK ISP's should be offering the OPTION (since the technology can erase legitimate mail too) of anti-spam filters included with all their packages, although outside of that there's not a lot they can do. SPAM works because it manipulates an already flawed system and that won't stop without a more fundamental re-think.
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