Over a three day period (Thursday through Saturday), I received 912 spams. That’s just over 300 a day, definitely up from the amount I received last year.
Assuming it takes even just one second on average to skim and delete each spam, that’s 35 minutes each week of my time.
In a year, that’s 30 hours or so, and assuming my time is valued at a rather conservative $25/hour, that’s $750 lost due to spam.
Luckily, my ISP (Earthlink) offers Brightmail filtering, which clears out about 2/3rds of the spam before it even hits my Outlook inbox. So that reduces my yearly damages to around $250 or so.
That dollar figure pales in comparison, however, to the irreparable and larger damage caused by accidentally deleting non-spam mails, resulting in me losing out on social and business opportunities. For instance, an e-vite that an acquaintance sent me for a rather important social event got filtered into my Outlook spam folder, and due to the wording of the subject line, I almost didn’t spot it before I dumped all the mail in that folder. And of course, I have no idea about how many social and business opportunities I’ve actually missed due to the e-mails being thrown out with spam. I do know for a fact that I’ve at least temporarily overlooked critical and time-sensitive business-related e-mails that got buried amongst spam.
As I noted in an earlier entry, I’m unsure of whether the right (and successful) solutions will ultimately involve technology, the American or International legal systems, or a combination thereof. I just know that something needs to be done!