A recent survey by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Group (MAAWG) shows that nearly 50% of consumers open spam emails; click on links in the email and open spam attachments.

When they are done doing that they then reply and forward it to others.

Here are some other key findings from their report:

  • Almost half of those who opened spam did so intentionally. Many wanted to unsubscribe or complain to the sender (25%), to see what would happen (18%) or were interested in the product (15%).
  • Overall, 11% of consumers have clicked on a link in spam, 8% have opened attachments, 4% have forwarded it and 4% have replied to spam. 
  • On average, 44% of users consider themselves “somewhat experienced” with email security. In Germany, 33% of users see themselves as “expert” or “very experienced,” followed by around 20% in Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.A., 16% in Canada and just 8% in France.
  • Men and email users under 35 years, the same demographic groups who tend to consider themselves more experienced with email security, are more likely to open or click on links or forward spam. Among email users under 35 years, 50% report having opened spam compared to 38% of those over 35. Younger users also were more likely to have clicked on a link in spam (13%) compared to less than 10% of older consumers.
  • Consumers are most likely to hold their Internet or email service provider most responsible for stopping viruses and malware. Only 48% see themselves as most responsible, though in France this falls to 30% and 37% in Spain. 
  • Yet in terms of anti-virus effectiveness, consumers ranked themselves ahead of all others, except for anti-virus vendors: 56% of consumers rated their own ability to stop malware and 67% rated that of anti-virus vendors’ as very or fairly good. Government agencies, consumer advocacy agencies and social networking sites were among those rated most poorly.
  • All I can say is wow but then again not too surprised by this as I see it when I work on peoples computers and see the issues they are having with infections, bots, etc.

    As I usually say – you need to stay safe out there on the Internet, in your inbox and keep your anti-virus/malware software up to date.

    You are using anti-virus/anti-malware software – right?

    Consumers Don’t Relate Bot Infections to Risky Behavior As Millions Continue to Click on Spam (MAAWG)