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September 25, 2008

Egham is UK spam hotspot

Egham in Surrey has been named as the worst affected town in the UK for spam per business user, according to statistics released by MessageLabs.

By Steve Evans

Business users in Egham were sent an average of 189 spam emails per day. Egham’s closest rival was Alton in Hampshire, where users received an average of 197 spam emails per day. Another Hampshire town, Petersfield, was third on the list with 116.

Completing the top ten was Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands; Sutton, Greater London; Macclesfield, Cheshire; Dundee, Scotland; Bradford, West Yorkshire; Colchester, Essex and St Peter’s Port, Guernsey.

Perhaps surprisingly, none of the UK biggest cities featured prominently on the list. London ranked 28th, with Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool in the lower reaches of the top 100. Newcastle was 166th and Bristol 167th.

Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist at MessageLabs said: “It’s a given that larger cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester will receive a high total number of spam emails. However, by breaking statistics down to an average number per business user, the results are much more interesting. We can start to identify problem areas and analyse why businesses in different areas and industries are receiving more malicious emails than others.”

There was better news for Hampshire however, as Fareham was named least spammed place in the UK, as business users there received an average of two spam emails per week. Farnborough, Hampshire and Guildford, Surrey, completed the top three.

“Bigger organisations will typically have better policies in place when it comes to internet security, and these organisations are usually located in the UK’s larger cities. By contrast, businesses operating outside of major towns and cities are usually small and midsize companies with less time and resources to devote to IT security. Smaller companies also often need to proactively push their contact details out into the public domain in order to secure business, whereas larger businesses can afford to rely more on reputation and referrals. Actively pushing out names and email addresses can provide cybercriminals with an easy hit list to target with spam emails,” said Sergeant.

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