If you're planning to do more instant messaging (IM) as a way to avoid your spam-clogged e-mail system, take note: IM spam—or "spim," as it's being called—is growing like wildfire. More than one billion spims were sent last year, nearly four times the amount in 2002, according to Ferris Research. Another four billion are expected in 2004. AOL and Microsoft are updating their IM services to block the rising spim tide. Still, the spim problem hasn't risen to the crisis level of spam. Ferris estimates that 2 billion spam e-mails were sent each day in 2003.
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