December saw the worst proportion of spam to legitimate email that we have ever experienced according to a report by SoftScan. All the focus is on the perseverence of relentless spammers and not enough thought is being placed on the ways in which we as email users are encouraging this activity.
Too many people are unaware of the technology that is at play behind these emails. Many people believe that as long as they do not respond to the email they have not encouraged it. However, as soon as you open the majority of spam emails it sends a message back to the originator confirming that your address is valid and adding it to a database that they can then sell to others spammers.
As users we are responsible for encouraging spammers often without even realising.