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Symantec Survey Reveals Growing Concerns Over Spam

Consumers Cite Spam as Offensive, Time-Consuming, and Difficult to Control

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Dec. 2, 2002 - According to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers conducted for Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, by InsightExpress, spam is a growing problem at home and work and is considered offensive, time-consuming, and difficult to control.

"At best, spam is annoying; at worst, it’s objectionable and a real threat to productivity and resources," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president, Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "As consumers face a steady increase in spam e-mails every day, it is clear that unsolicited e-mail is a problem that must be addressed if users are to continue to enjoy the benefits of online computing."

The survey measured consumers’ experience with spam as well as their general and specific concerns about receiving unsolicited e-mail. According to the survey, 37 percent of respondents receive more than 100 spam e-mails each week at home and work, with 63 percent receiving more than 50 spam messages weekly. Sixty-nine percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that spam is generally harmful to e-mail users. Another 77 percent of respondents with children under the age of 18 noted that they are concerned or very concerned about their children reading spam. Eighty-four percent agreed or strongly agreed that spam places a burden on their individual time. In addition, 65 percent of respondents reported spending more than 10 minutes each day dealing with spam; 24 percent reported dealing with it for more than 20 minutes per day.

Respondents also ranked their specific concerns about spam. Pornographic or otherwise inappropriate spam content was considered the primary concern by 38 percent of respondents. Thirty-six percent responded that it takes too much time to delete or unsubscribe to spam messages. Tying for the third-most prevalent complaint about spam, with 18 percent of respondents each, was that it takes up limited computer and e-mail resources, it is difficult to unsubscribe to or block, and it is unsolicited and unwanted.

Respondents also indicated that the volume of spam they are receiving is on the rise; 74 percent reported that it is increasing while only 4 percent said it is decreasing. While agreeing that spam is a current and growing problem, 42 percent of respondents also reported that they didn’t use a spam filter.

To address consumers’ concerns about the growing spam problem, Symantec offers Norton Internet Security 2003, the most tightly integrated and complete online security and privacy suite. Norton Internet Security 2003 includes Norton Spam Alert, which filters out incoming junk mail from Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape Messenger and other POP3 e-mail clients. It detects spam messages and flags them as spam in the subject field. Users can then set a rule to automatically file spam messages in a specified folder or simply delete the message.

About InsightExpress
InsightExpress was founded in 1999 as a strategic affiliate of the largest custom marketing research firm in North America--NFO WorldGroup, Inc.--an Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) company. InsightExpress is the pioneer in online market research services, established on the principle that high quality doesn’t need to be sacrificed for faster and more affordable research. More than seven million surveys later, InsightExpress’ core competency continues to be applying Market Research methodologies and time-tested principles to online applications.

About Symantec
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at www.symantec.com.

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