Spam Report Reveals What Makes Us Click


Silicon Valley computer security company McAfee just released its latest spam report detailing the top 20 spam subject lines. You’ve probably seen several of them. Many are innocuous; for example, “Hello” tops the list of subject lines. “Hi,” “Aloha,” and “Hey” are up there, too. “Discount” is common, as in “Click here for discount watches.”

Viagra and Pfizer (the company making Viagra) rise to the top as well, along with seemingly helpful statements, like “Subscribe to this?” and “Delivery Status Notification.” And, if “Viagra” is popular, so, in turns out is “virtualization webinar.”

In the UK, “Salute, man!” is oddly popular.

Computer ‘spam’ is obviously a big pain in the neck to any of us who use email, but what you may not know is what spam costs companies.

McAfee says the time, money, and effort spent by companies to try and block spam, not to mention clearing out what gets in, rises by the month, and is now officially a barrier to smooth international commerce. And for anyone concerned about the environment, there’s this: Spam costs $3 billion a year in electricity alone.

So, what do we do if we’re not in the market for Hawaiian real estate, sexual potency drugs, or the riches of the deposed dictator of Cameroon?

McAfee itself says, as you might imagine, that you should keep your antivirus software up to date. Okay. But let’s also use some common sense. All these spammers need is a tiny percentage of people to fall for what they’re selling. That’s what keeps them going. Do your part to shut them down, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll turn Spam-A-Lot into Spam-A-Littte-Less.