A load of junk

We all get, and are probably fed up with, spam emails arriving with alarming regularity in our in-boxes. It’s become part of online life, not an acceptable part, but a part of it nonetheless.

A report by internet security McAfee states that, last year, a total of 62 trillion (that’s a lot of zeroes) spam and junk emails were sent out and it is thought that somewhere between 85% and 91% of all emails are ‘junk’ mail. How anyone ever falls for some of them is beyond belief, but that’s a different matter.

So, what is 62 trillion pieces of junk mail when put into perspective?

  • The electricity used to send these emails could power 2.4 million homes for a whole year.
  • These emails created 17 million tons of carbon emissions.
  • This junk could have powered a car on a journey 1.6 times around the planet.

Recently, an internet host, McColo, was taken put of action for a day due to its connection with spammers. This action, a day without spam, was the equivalent of taking 2.2 million cars off the road.

Although various spam filters have some effect, the only real way to combat the problem is at the source. But that’s easier said than done. It’s big business, profitable and the spammers are highly organised and very much at the forefront of technology. Much is automated, sent via ‘botnets’, and as soon as one goes down, a reserve is started up.

It looks like being a long war.

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