A significant percentage of Internet users continue to interact with spam messages according to a recent report released by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG). The report is a based on a survey of users in North American and Western Europe.
While around 80 million respondents are aware of the existence of botnets, tens of millions still follow spam links that leave them vulnerable to malware, according to the 2010 MAAWG Email Security Awareness and Usage Survey. In the survey, half of users said that they had opened a spam email and clicked on the link, opened the attachment, replied or forwarded the message.
Despite the fact that most respondents said they were familiar with bots, only one third believed themselves vulnerable to infection.
“Consumers need to understand they are not powerless bystanders. They can play a key role in standing up to spammers by not engaging and just marking their emails as junk,” said Michael O’Reirdan, MAAWG chairman. “When consumers respond to spam or click on links in junk mail, they often set themselves up for fraud or to have their computers compromised by criminals who use them to deliver more spam, spread viruses and launch cyber attacks.”
Also, according to the report, only 46 percent of users who opened a spam email claimed to do so deliberately.The report also found that younger users have a tendency to take greater risks.
This is the first MAAWG survey to cover North American and Western Europe.
The report can be accessed here