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Users surrender to spam

Even though there's less porn

Have we succumbed to spam? A new study reports fewer people see spam as big hassle. Couple that with 37 percent of survey recipients saying they are getting more spam at home and 29 percent say they've seen an increase in their work inboxes.

This suggests to me that spam is joining other Internet white noise annoyances like pop-up ads and looping banner ads.

Pew Internet & American Life Project researchers cite two main reasons fewer people say that spam is a big problem for them. One, the volume of porn (and related) spam has decreased. And two, "people are becoming more knowledgeable about spam," the study reports.

The study suggests people are also slowly wising up to fight spam, with 71 percent of email users say they use spam filters - up from 65 percent two years ago. That's a meagre 6 percent jump.

Maybe it's true we are caring less about spam. I certainly don't flinch anymore as I'm greeted by the nearly 20 to 30 spam messages in my inbox each morning.

Interesting data points

* The percentage of email users who report getting less spam has decreased over the past three years to just 10 percent of email users.

* The percentage of users who say spam is not at all a problem has risen from 16 to 28 percent.

* 52 percent of email users report having received pornographic spam, down from 63 percent two years ago and 71 percent three years ago.

* Fewer women than men say they received spam with adult content (46 vs. 58 percent).

* 55 percent say spam has made them less trusting of email in general.

The survey was conducted over the telephone with 1,492 US adult Internet users participating. The study was conducted from February 15 to March 7, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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