RealTime IT News

The Longer on the Net, the More Spam You Get

Been on the Net a while? That may be why you get so much spam. Internet users receive more junk e-mail the longer they keep their e-mail addresses, a new study by a market research company has found.

More than 40 percent of Internet users with the same e-mail address for at least three years receive more than 11 unsolicited messages every week touting products or services, said the study conducted by Stamford, CT-based Gartner Group.

The problem becomes more severe over time because users register for more Internet services with their e-mail addresses, and lists containing their addresses circulate to more companies that use e-mail for advertising, according to the report.

The volume of spam could become annoying enough to cause users to switch e-mail addresses or ISPs, according to the study. Some 36 percent of 13,000 respondents to the Gartner Group online survey said they would consider switching to reduce spam, with the percentage rising dramatically should the amount of spam increase.

One-fourth of junk e-mail promotes adult entertainment and 37 percent advertises schemes promising quick and easy wealth, the study says. The study found that spam could cost a service provider with 1 million subscribers about $7 million a year in lost subscription fees, and the price of additional workers and computers needed to handle the mail.

The study was funded by Bright Light Technologies, a San Francisco-based start-up that sells spam-filtering services to companies and service providers.