The Pew Internet and American Life Project released the results of a survey indicating that nearly a third of those using instant message services have received unsolicited commercial messages on their IM client. Spam messages have gone from being immeasurable in 2003 to comprising about 5 percent of IM traffic in 2004.
According to survey released Wednesday, nearly one third, or 17 million, of the nation's instant message users have received some kind of unsolicited message at least once.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project contacted respondents by phone over a period from January 13 to February 9.
The study, however, did not include those under 18, which is widely considered the biggest group of IM users.
"The people who brought you spam...are trying to figure out whether this is a cash cow," Pew Internet Executive Director Lee Rainie said in the report.
According to various studies, IM spam, or "spim", is indeed increasing.
Data from IMLogic suggests that spim went from practically zero in 2003 to 5 percent of all messages sent in 2004.
The content of spim messages vary, from scams similar to those in spam e-mail to hackers trying to gain access, or to spread viruses.
Some spim will even be of a sexual nature.
Both AOL and Microsoft are working on ways to combat spim on their services.
For now, users can combat spim by using the feature in both networks' software to restrict who can contact them.
But right now the feature restricting who can contact you works with 100% success and I don't see that changing.
For e-mail I have a white list and it's also 100% successful.
It took a while to setup but I get zero spam on it.
The real issue is spam over the phone and the cell providers are as guilty of this as the spammers.
They have clauses stating they can spam
you at will within the contract, it's almost worth dumping cells for.
Just place your finger on the block button and also use Ytunnel for yahoo.
About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate and award-winning journalist with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, and he has authored and published several downloadable personal preparedness courses including a downloadable course focused on safety and self defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In mid 2010, Adams produced TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing website offering user-generated videos on nutrition, green living, fitness and more. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also the founder of a well known HTML email software company whose 'Email Marketing Director' software currently runs the NaturalNews subscription database. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and pursues hobbies such as martial arts, Capoeira, nature macrophotography and organic gardening. He's also author a large number of health books offered by Truth Publishing and is the creator of numerous reference website including NaturalPedia.com and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. His websites also include the free reference sites HerbReference.com and HealingFoodReference.com. Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the innate healing ability of the human body. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at www.HealthRanger.org
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