Consumers should get used to 'spam'

Sick of being inundated with get-rich-quick schemes and Viagra ads – among others – in your e-mail?

Well, get used to it, because despite concerted efforts to fight it, “spam” is expected to get worse before it gets better, analysts say.

The average American will get more than 2,200 spam, or unsolicited bulk e-mail, messages this year and 3,600 by 2007, Jupiter Research forecasts.

Spammers continue to come up with new and ingenious – some would say evil – ways to bypass filters by misspelling words, sending e-mails from what appears to be yourself and putting messages in the subject lines that make people think the mail is from a friend.

Companies are trying to help consumers and businesses, including some Internet services, to combat spam by coming up with new technologies, with players like Brightmail Inc. and McAfee.

Filters that work on a keyboard basis to block spam, depending on how frequently certain words appear, don’t work because spammers misspell words or write shorter e-mails so there are not as many occurrences.