Tennessee top target for spammers

Tennessee is among the national leaders when it comes to the most spammed states, according to Symantec’s annual look at spamming in U.S. states and territories.

Tennessee ranks No. 5 with a spam rate of 92.1 percent, according to Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence Special Report. That means more than 9 of every 10 e-mails sent to Tennessee are spam.

Spam is a serious threat to business productivity. My work and personal e-mail are bombarded daily. Most of the messages that make it to my in-box are legit, but I waste time every day deleting spam that makes it past the filters.

“Spam isn’t just a simple annoyance to businesses, but a real threat that can consume resources and put valuable information at risk regardless of location,” MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst Paul Wood writes in the report. “From the World Cup to fake PDF Reader updates, even the most intricate scams are now widespread and the sheer size and power of today’s botnets are making possible what was once unthinkable.”

The most spammed state is Idaho with a 95.2 percent spam rate, followed by Alabama, South Carolina and Indiana, all with rates over 92 percent. The national average is 89.3 percent, according to the MessageLabs study.

Engineering, automotive and construction are the U.S. business sectors most frequently targeted by spammers, with spam rates, respectively, of 94.1 percent, 92.9 percent and 90.5 percent.

The least spammed sectors are business support services, general services and finance, each with spam rates of about 87 percent.

I used to think some of the spam was funny — like those guys in Nigeria who for years have been trying to give me money — but now it’s just annoying.

Read Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence Special Report here. The report includes tips on how businesses can protect themselves from spam.

Listen to anaylst Paul Wood’s podcast on MessageLabs most recent security report here.