Half of All Emails Are Still Spam, and That's a 10-Year Low 

Fighting back electronic junk mail has saved email as we know it.

If Monty Python taught us anything, it’s that Spam comes in mass quantities. For the first time in over a decade, less than half of the emails in your inbox are spam. Yet the stuff still accounts for almost half of all emails in the world.

Online security company Symantec’s June Intelligence Report found that only 49.7 percent of all sent emails were spam. That number has decreased even further in July; 25 billion emails monitored by Symantec were only 46.4 percent junk.

The number seems unbelievably high until you look at the data from 2008, when nine emails of every 10 were spam. Glad to see people actually began communicating with each other again.

The decline in annoying emails from Nigerian princes, fly-by-nights offering miracle diet pills, or official-looking messages trying to get your bank details have been in a gradual decline as law enforcement has cracked down on botnets, or networks of computers that continually spread spam after being infected. In 2010 alone, the Mariposa and Waledac botnets, which were capable of sending more than a billion spam messages per day, were taken down. Before then, hackers got smart by moving away from personal servers to create the omnipresent bot networks, making them more difficult to catch.

That doesn’t mean that online thieves have suddenly stopped looking for ways to separate you from your money. Spammers have begun moving their operations to social media.

Symantec’s report breaks down the spam percentages by industry; strangely enough, mining accounts for over 56 percent of junk mail with manufacturing, construction, and retail all coming in with 53 percent of miserable messages that go straight into the trash.

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