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UK falls out of top 10 spam offenders table

LONDON - The UK has dropped out of the top 10 worst nations for sending spam emails, falling from 10 to 13, according to a report by internet security company Sophos.

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Unsolicited emails from UK-based addresses declined in the first quarter of the year, with the country now listed as number 13 -- just outside the so-called "spam dirty dozen". However, Sophos said in real terms there would not be a fall in the amount of spam reaching the UK public.

The US, which is listed as number one nation for spam emails with a 20% global share, is followed by China, which has experienced a dramatic rise in recent years, and Poland, which is listed third.

According to the Sophos report, more sophisticated anti-virus software and firewalls were one of the reasons for the UK's improvement in combating unwanted emails.

Conversely, Sophos said the rapidly growing internet markets of India, Poland and Russia, where email safety is not as advanced, was another reason for the UK's fall, along with Canada, which also dropped out of the top 12.

The Sophos report warned of a rise in SMS spam being sent to mobile phones, as people "don't necessarily expect it to turn up on their mobile handsets".

A spokeswoman for Sophos said that despite the UK improving its ability to combat spam, growing levels abroad were contributing to a rise that will continue to affect UK email marketing.

She said: "Unfortunately, all this doesn't mean that we will see less spam in our inboxes. Compromised machines anywhere in the world can send spam that will hit all our inboxes."

Sophos added that working closely with ISPs to reduce spam and educating home users about internet security was crucial to ensuring growing levels of infected emails was stopped.

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