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MessageLabs names UK spam capital

MessageLabs names UK spam capital

Strangely, the Egham Tourist Board has yet to reference its coronation as the UK's spam capital.

Anti-spam outfit MessageLabs has compiled a – somewhat useless and yet nevertheless compelling – list of the top ten most spammed locations in the UK.

First spotted by ITWire, the survey – based upon the interesting metric of number of spams received per individual business user – shows our beloved capital city of London hitting just 28th on the charts, beaten by some places so out-of-the-way as to make you question the sample size of MessageLabs' survey.

For the terminally curious, the top ten most spammed locations in the UK are:

10: St. Peter's Port, Guernsey
9: Colchester, Essex
8: Bradford, West Yorkshire
7: Dundee, Scotland
6: Macclesfield, Cheshire
5: Sutton, Greater London
4: Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
3: Petersfield, Hampshire
2: Alton, Hampshire
1: Egham, Surrey

The 'winner' of the study, Egham, apparently plays host to business users enjoying receipt of a fairly impressive 189 messages every day. To put that in perspective, the safest place for a spam-harried business user to hide was Fareham, which only gets an average of two spam messages per week per user. I was pretty surprised to see my own base of operations – Bradford – listed in the top ten, although having looked at the amount of crud my spam defences filter out perhaps it's not that shocking after all.

Matt Sergeant, anti-spam technologist – no, really – at MessageLabs explains the strange lack of really big cities in the top ten by pointing out that “businesses operating outside of major towns and cities are usually small and mid size companies with less time and resources to devote to IT security,” meaning that they're more likely to disclose e-mail addresses on a whim and less likely to use anti-spam and anti-virus measures.

Do you live or work in any of the top ten spam hotspots? Do your experiences bear out MessageLabs' results? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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trickster 26th September 2008, 15:36 Quote
Woohoo! Number 6 for me!
Thankfully, catching the 99.9% of the spam is one of the few things our (outsourced - aaaaarrrrgh!) IT department do right.

Quote: “businesses operating outside of major towns and cities are usually small and mid size companies with less time and resources to devote to IT security,”

- I disagree entirely, in Macclesfield the two biggest employers are amongst the bigger global chemical companies!
Jamie 26th September 2008, 16:18 Quote
I wonder how they came about these numbers.
BioSniper 26th September 2008, 16:54 Quote
I'm surprised at Petersfield and Alton actually considering the type of people that live there are usually quite well off or old.
I guess this could also be caused by machines infested by spyware kicking out tonnes of spam mail?
overdosedelusion 26th September 2008, 17:14 Quote
numbers 2 + 3 for me, I live 10 miles in the middle of the tver looiwo. Although fareham isn't that far either. We do get a god awful amount of spam though, how any why is confusing, as the only places that have our email are companies we order from, and our ISP. Never looked lnto spam at all.
BlackMage23 26th September 2008, 18:08 Quote
Those are all places that have Universities
Cupboard 26th September 2008, 18:35 Quote
Its isn't because empolyees in the said locations aren't working as hard so are "spreading" their email addresses online?
TomH 27th September 2008, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackMage23
Those are all places that have Universities
Where's the University in Sutton Coldfield?!
Combinho 27th September 2008, 15:46 Quote
W00t for Egham. It's nice to get your home town in the media.
Pricester 29th September 2008, 08:38 Quote
Heh, I grew up in Egham, so that was kinda funny to see...

It looks like a completely pointless study though - presumably, they've surveyed these businesses, and assigned the "spam rating" based on the main business office address, so what about businesses with a lot of off-site workers etc.?

Personally, I'd rather see a list of spam *sources* - then I'd know where to aim the ICBM... (or whether it's time to rebuild my PC and clear up any trojans that got in!)
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