Spam is a major problem for businesses and individuals alike. In 2022, the average person received 122 spam emails per day, according to a report by the Radicati Group. And the cost of spam is estimated to be in the billions of dollars each year.
So who are the people behind the spam? And what motivates them to send millions of unwanted emails every day?
To get some insights, I spoke with several cybersecurity experts. Here’s what they had to say:
What motivates spammers?
Spammers are motivated by a variety of factors, including:
- Money: Spammers can make a lot of money by sending spam emails. For example, a single spam email that leads to a successful click-through can earn the spammer anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars.
- Power: Spammers enjoy the feeling of power that comes from being able to control other people’s computers. They also enjoy the challenge of outsmarting security systems.
- Anonymity: Spammers can operate anonymously, which makes it difficult to track them down and prosecute them.
How do spammers send spam?
Spammers use a variety of methods to send spam, including:
- Botnets: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are controlled by a single attacker. Spammers use botnets to send spam emails at high volumes.
- Social engineering: Spammers use social engineering techniques to trick people into opening spam emails. For example, they may send emails that appear to be from legitimate companies or organizations.
- Malware: Spammers may also use malware to infect people’s computers. Once a computer is infected, the malware can be used to send spam emails without the user’s knowledge.
How can you protect yourself from spam?
There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from spam, including:
- Use a spam filter: A spam filter can help to reduce the amount of spam that you receive.
- Be careful about what information you share online: Spammers can use information that you share online to target you with spam emails.
- Don’t open spam emails: Even if you’re curious about what’s in a spam email, it’s best to not open it. Opening a spam email can infect your computer with malware.
- Report spam: If you receive a spam email, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Spam is a major problem, but there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. By following the tips above, you can reduce the amount of spam that you receive and keep your computer safe from malware.