How much do spammers really earn?

According to Time, spam averages 78% of all email sent. If you’ve checked out your junk email folder today, that’s not hard to believe. But why is there so much spam? How could it possibly be profitable? Have you ever heard of anyone ever buying anything as a result of spam?

A report released by the Journal of Economic Perspectives reveals that all the spammers in the world combined may only earn $200 million a year. They also estimate that it only takes 1 purchase in 25,000 messages to be a profitable spammer–hopefully that 1 purchase isn’t you.

But that may not be the most shocking figure to come out of the report. While the cost of sending spam is insignificant compared to the profit, the cost of defending against spam costs businesses worldwide $14-18 billion a year–nearly a 100:1 ratio. The bulk of those costs are spent developing anti-spam technology like your email spam folder and anti-malware software.

While the cost of anti-spam measures continues to rise, there is some hope on the horizon. Symantec’s Monthly Spam Report indicates that the amount of spam sent in 2011 was on a downward trend. Prior to 2011, the amount of spam sent was trending consistently upward. It may seem that anti-spam solutions–such as email filtering based on the content of the email, spamtraps, enforcing SMTP requirements, greylists, DNS-based blackhole lists (DNSBL) and outbound spam protection–are catching up with the problem.

If your company operates or uses an email server, you need to stay abreast of new anti-spam measures. If you don’t, you could very quickly become a part of the problem instead of the solution by being an unwitting host to spam activities. If a spammer were to work their way into your network, your servers could be blacklisted, resulting in email downtime, lost customer trust and more.

Minneapolis-based OAC Technology has been fighting spam for small- to medium-sized businesses for over a decade. We stay up-to-date on the latest spamming techniques so that we know how to keep your business protected. If you don’t know what your anti-spam strategy is, contact us today for a free consultation.

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