Over the past year there has been a dramatic increase in spam, also known as junk e-mail. It is predicted that by July the amount of spam received by businesses will exceed regular e-mail. Most of the people think spam is annoying and unwanted intrusion on consumer"s lives. This is a problem that affects everyone who owns Internet accounts and has to be dealt with.
The rise of spam is due to several factors including the most obvious, more people are online. This is a great opportunity for marketers to advertise their product through e-mail. The entry-costs of e-mail soliciting are few; you can get somebody to spam for you for as low as $25 for each million addresses. This way is much more inexpensive compared to if they were to send 1 million postal mail ads which would be very costly now in days. The bad part of this problem is that spam is actually effective and productive for marketers. If they send their junk mail, if only one person responded to their product it is considered a profit. The Internet providers, government and others are trying to fight back with a variety of countermeasures, including lawsuits, new legislation and software that filters e-mail and separates out spam before it reaches the consumers. Most of the big corporations like America Online, Yahoo and MSN Hotmail are the ones who get targeted the most and so they have come out with software that eliminates some of the spam, but not all. The number of spam messages has increased nearly 300 % from 2001 to 2002 and these companies are only able to filter out about 10% of all Internet e-mail. Providers are increasingly giving customers more power to control their senders by upgrading software in which they decide what gets filtered out. Companies are not only taking their own filter securities but also they are pushing for legal solutions. Twenty-six states have now passed some form of anti-spam law but many anti-spam activists are pushing for a national approach to a solution.