Email and Instant Messaging News

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Email and Instant Messaging Security

Barracuda Labs published its annual report, providing insights into a variety of security, social network, email and other issues.

Here are some of the bits we thought were particularly interesting:

  • Criminals are using Twitter. In 2006, the Twitter Crime Rate (TCR)—or those accounts that were eventually suspended for malicious or similar activity—was 1.2%. by October 2009, that figure had jumped to 12%, a ten-fold increase in just three years. In fact, the figure in 2008 was only 2.2%, meaning that the TCR jumped more than five times in the space of just a year.
  • The “middle class” of Twitter is the most active. The most active Tweeters are those with an average of 1,000 followers. Those with more than 100,000 followers or those with fewer than 100 tweet substantially less. This substantiates a recent Wired commentary that posited the view that when social networking audiences become too large, they become recipients of broadcast content instead of participants in a discussion.
  • Much of Twitter’s growth came during the Red Carpet Era (RCE), the six-month period ending in April 2009 during which lots of celebrities joined Twitter. This period saw much of Twitter’s growth—at the beginning of the RCE, Twitter was growing at 1.95% per month, but this increased to 20% per month at the end of the period. Since that time, growth has fallen back to normal—0.34% in 2009, about what it was at the beginning of 2008. I believe this indicates that much of the novelty of Twitter is over, and that the more serious users are beginning to exert more influence over where Twitter is headed long term.
  • Twitter growth is deepening. For example, the number of Twitter users with no followers almost halved between June 2009 and now, and only 20% of users follow no one, compared to 25% in June 2009. This indicates that more people are beginning to see Twitter as a viable content source—not just as a way to find out what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast—and, for some, as a serious business tool. This is clearly good news for just about everyone that uses Twitter, since it means the tool will become a more meaningful part of users’ online experience in the months to come.