May 31, 2005, 12:00 AM

E-mail users are getting more spam but it’s less annoying, study says

E-mail users are reporting a slight increase in spam but are more tolerant of the unsolicited messages than they were a year ago, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

E-mail users are reporting a slight increase in spam but are more tolerant of the unsolicited messages than they were a year ago, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In personal e-mail accounts, which typically get more spam than work accounts, 28% of users say they were getting more spam, 22% say they were getting less spam, and 47% say they’ve seen no change in volume, the survey found. In work accounts, 21% say they were getting more spam, 16% say they were getting less spam, and 53% reported no change.

At the same time, 53% say they are less trusting of e-mail because of spam, down from 62% a year ago; 22% say spam has reduced their overall use of e-mail, compared to 29% a year ago; and 67% say being online is unpleasant because of spam, down from 77% a year earlier.

Despite the declines, spam remains a relatively major issue for 52% of users, according to the survey.

E-mail users also reported a significant decline in pornographic spam, with 63% reporting receiving porn spam, compared with 71% last year.

35% of e-mail users report receiving unsolicited e-mails requesting personal financial information, so-called phishing, with 2% saying they provided information.

Pew based its findings on a nationwide phone survey of 1,421 Internet users between Jan. 13 and Feb. 9.

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