April 10, 2005

Spam and Phishing

Questions and Data

January 2005 Daily Tracking Survey

Final Topline, 2/11/05

Data for January 13 – February 9, 2005

Princeton Survey Research Associates International for the Pew Internet & American Life Project

Sample: n = 2,201 adults 18 and older
Interviewing dates: 01.13.05 – 02.09.05

  • Margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points for results based on the full sample [n=2,201]
  • Margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for results based on internet users [n=1,421]

WEB1    Please tell me if you ever use the internet to do any of the following things.  Do you ever use the internet to…/Did you happen to do this yesterday, or not?2

                Based on internet users [N=1,421]

Please tell me if you ever use the internet to do any of the following things. Do you ever use the internet to…/Did you happen to do this yesterday, or not?

 

Q19     I’m going to read a list of things that are sometimes a problem for internet users.  Please tell me if, for you personally, each one is a BIG problem, a SMALL problem, or NOT a problem at all. 

Based on internet users [N=1,421]

Q19 I’m going to read a list of things that are sometimes a problem for internet users. Please tell me if, for you personally, each one is a BIG problem, a SMALL problem, or NOT a problem at all.

SP1       How much have you heard or read about SPAM, or junk email?  Have you heard or read…?

Based on internet users [N=1,421]

How much have you heard or read about SPAM, or junk email? Have you heard or read…?

SP2      We’d like to know if unsolicited email, or spam, has affected you in any of the following ways.  Has spam…?

Based on email users [N=1,295]

SP2 We’d like to know if unsolicited email, or spam, has affected you in any of the following ways. Has spam…?

SP4     Thinking about your email…  Do you have…3

             Based on email users [N=1,295]

SP4 Thinking about your email… Do you have…

SP5      Thinking just about your PERSONAL email account…In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your PERSONAL email account?   IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your PERSONAL email than you were before?4

            Based on those with personal email account [N=1,116]

Thinking just about your PERSONAL email account…In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your PERSONAL email account? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your PERSONAL email than you were before?

SP6     Thinking just about your WORK email account… In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your WORK account?   IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your WORK email than you were before?5

            Based on those with work email account [N=599]

SP6 Thinking just about your WORK email account… In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your WORK account? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your WORK email than you were before?

SP18    We’d like to know if you have ever done the following things to avoid receiving spam or junk email in an email account.  Have you ever…?

                Based on email users [N=1,295]

SP18 We’d like to know if you have ever done the following things to avoid receiving spam or junk email in an email account. Have you ever…?

SP31    If you received…[INSERT; ROTATE] would you think of this as spam, or not?

                Based on email users [N=1,295]

SP31 If you received…[INSERT; ROTATE] would you think of this as spam, or not?

SP3     Thinking about all of the times you’ve received unsolicited email, have you ever…?

                Based on Email users [N=1,295]

SP3 Thinking about all of the times you’ve received unsolicited email, have you ever…?

SP7a     Have you ever provided personal financial information that was requested in an unsolicited email?

Based on those who have gotten unsolicited email requesting personal financial information [N=460]

SP7a Have you ever provided personal financial information that was requested in an unsolicited email?

SP7b    In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of PORNOGRAPHIC spam you receive?  IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS pornographic spam than you were before?6

            Based on those who received pornographic spam [N=822]

SP7b In the past 12 months, have you noticed any change in the amount of PORNOGRAPHIC spam you receive? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS pornographic spam than you were before?

SP8       Have you ever responded to an email offer, only to find out later it was phony or fraudulent?

                Based on email users [N=1,295]

SP8 Have you ever responded to an email offer, only to find out later it was phony or fraudulent?

Methodology

This report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans’ use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates between January 13 to February 9, 2005, among a sample of 2,201 adults, 18 and older.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.  For results based Internet users (n=1,421), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.  The margin of error for estimates based on Form A or Form B respondents is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.  In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

The sample for this survey is a random digit sample of telephone numbers selected from telephone exchanges in the continental United States. The random digit aspect of the sample is used to avoid “listing” bias and provides representation of both listed and unlisted numbers (including not-yet-listed numbers). The design of the sample achieves this representation by random generation of the last two digits of telephone numbers selected on the basis of their area code, telephone exchange, and bank number.

New sample was released daily and was kept in the field for at least five days. The sample was released in replicates, which are representative subsamples of the larger population. This ensures that complete call procedures were followed for the entire sample.  At least 10 attempts were made to complete an interview at sampled households. The calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week to maximize the chances of making contact with a potential respondent. Each household received at least one daytime call in an attempt to find someone at home.  In each contacted household, interviewers asked to speak with the youngest male currently at home. If no male was available, interviewers asked to speak with the oldest female at home. This systematic respondent selection technique has been shown to produce samples that closely mirror the population in terms of age and gender.  All interviews completed on any given day were considered to be the final sample for that day. The overall response rate was 30.1%.

Non-response in telephone interviews produces some known biases in survey-derived estimates because participation tends to vary for different subgroups of the population, and these subgroups are likely to vary also on questions of substantive interest. In order to compensate for these known biases, the sample data are weighted by form in analysis. The demographic weighting parameters are derived from a special analysis of the most recently available Census Bureau’s 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (March 2004). This analysis produces population parameters for the demographic characteristics of adults age 18 or older, living in households that contain a telephone. These parameters are then compared with the sample characteristics to construct sample weights. The weights are derived using an iterative technique that simultaneously balances the distribution of all weighting parameters. 

  1. Prior to January 2005, question wording was “Please tell me if you ever do any of the following when you go online. Do you ever…?/Did you happen to do this yesterday, or not?” In January 2005 Tracking, half the sample was asked old WEB1 and half the sample was asked new WEB1. Current results are for both forms combined.
  2. In June 2003 this question was asked only of email users currently employed full or part-time. Trend figures are based on all email users, with those not currently employed included in the “no” response category.
  3. In Feb 2004, question wording was “Thinking about your PERSONAL email account…Since January 1st of this year, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your PERSONAL email account? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your PERSONAL email since that date?”
  4. In Feb 2004, question wording was “Thinking about your WORK email account…Since January 1st of this year, have you noticed any change in the amount of spam you receive in your WORK account? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS spam in your WORK email since that date?”
  5. In February 2004, question wording was “And since January 1st of this year, have you noticed any change in the amount of PORNOGRAPHIC spam you receive? IF YES: Are you getting MORE or LESS pornographic spam since that date?”