Pornographic Spam Hits All-Time Low

Michael Hayes
CUPERTINO, Calif. — While spam may still be on the rise, at least one category of unwanted email is in decline. Pornographic spam now accounts for a mere 3 percent of all spam worldwide, according to a report issued by security software firm Symantec.

In Symantec’s State of Spam report for February, the company said that porn spam has hit an all-time low. In January, pornographic spam accounted for 4 percent of all unwanted emails, with that number dropping to 3 percent this past month.

Symantec creates its report based on emails filtered through its proprietary security tools. The company defines adult spam as emails advertising “products or services intended for persons above the age of 18” and is “often offensive or inappropriate.” Examples of adult spam include advertisements for porn websites, dating sites and relationship advice.

Among the current top spam categories are emails advertising healthcare or other general interest products, which combined to account for more than 48 percent of all junk emails.

Other top categories included advertisements for financial services, which accounted for 21 percent of all spam and Internet services, which totaled 15 percent of all junk email. Phising, or fraudulent scams, accounted for 8 percent of all spam.