Spam Email Counts

Is email on the way out? That is probably not yet an easy question, but the amount of spam seems to be holding steady, with periodic bursts of spam email storms.

Here are some graphs of spam at one of my mailboxes. This is for a very public email address. The spam detection is using spamassassin which runs under procmail with a customized whitelist and blacklist. Over the few years I've used this, there have been only 1-2 false positives for spam (of course, detection of false positives is not easy since this requires digging through 100s of spam messages, but I have no reason to believe that false positives are more prevalent). There have been quite a few false negatives - messages that are spam, but missed by spamassassin. These are usually around 1%-10% of the total detected spam messages, which is low enough that the graphs below are still useful to show the trend of spam message counts.

2010 Spam Counts 2010 Spam Counts
The Spam Counts images are updated periodically, usually every day, to include data of the previous complete 24-hour period.
[This image is no longer updated - the last counts will be for 2010-September. I no longer pull all email, there are only 1-3 non-spam emails and 80-100 spam messages per day. Will move all email use to one of the publicly available web sites, and have started using text chat more, and possibly move to voice chat in future too. Email is no longer very useful for home use.]

Older Spam Counts 2009 Spam Counts 2008 Spam Counts 2007 Spam Counts

The data from the graphs above came from procmail log files that were filtered using a perl script. The graphs were generated using a command-line php script, using the extremely versatile JpGraph - PHP Graph Creating Library.