6 February 2020, London: British email users want to have as little to do with spam as possible! Only a quarter of Brits (25%) mark suspicious emails as spam or move them to the ‘Spam’ Folder, while the majority (55%) delete potential spam unread. Nearly seven percent (7%) read the email first and then delete it and four percent (4%) simply leave the spam unopened in their inbox. Fewer than 1% of users say that they reply to the spam. These are the findings of a representative survey of 2,000 people in the UK commissioned by German email service providers GMX.
The results come as GMX introduces a new feature ‘Improved Spam Detection’ to their email service that asks users to help make spam detection more effective by ticking a box in their email settings to allow GMX to scan and read their emails – both unwanted email and/or desired email – using Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. Users are also encouraged to ‘train’ their personal spam filter by marking potentially suspicious emails as ‘spam’ before deleting them.
The correct handling of potentially dangerous emails by users is an important element of GMX’s new spam detection feature. According to the survey, 42 per cent of British email users now say they are prepared to have their emails automatically analysed by their email provider using AI. The new optional feature can be found under ‘Email/Settings/Spam Detection’ where the user is able to tick a box to give their consent for the new function to be activated. Consent can be revoked at any time.
Jan Oetjen, Managing Director of GMX, comments:
“A user who clicks on an email and marks it as spam clearly tells the spam filter: ‘I consider this email to be spam and this sender to be potentially dangerous’. This evaluation not only trains the user’s own personal spam filter to reject similar emails, so that they get fewer spam in their inbox in future, but GMX can also apply these findings to the entire GMX mail system, so helping other users. This is particularly important for the rapid detection of new malicious spam attack methods.”
Correct handling of spam
If spam is simply deleted, then the email provider will not benefit from the email user’s spam rating. Replying to spam or phishing messages is the worst possible response. This proves to the spam sender that the email address is active and encourages them to send more spam. It is better to mark suspicious emails as spam directly in the webmail application or in the app of the mail provider and to move them to the spam folder. Third-party apps or alternative mail clients often cannot pass on the necessary information to the email provider’s system.
Data is provided by YouGov Deutschland GmbH. 2,198 respondents participated in the survey, which took place between 22 – 23 October 2019. The results were weighted and are representative for the UK population (aged 18+). The full survey results can be downloaded from https://www.slideshare.net/GMX_UK/how-the-british-handle-spam-emails