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Most of the emails received by broadband customers are spam, according to new research from Microsoft.

The IT giant has revealed that 97 per cent of all emails sent are unwanted adverts, phishing scams or other attempts by hackers to gain access to information.

A Microsoft report into internet security found that just three per cent of all email messages sent across the globe are valid correspondence.

Ed Gibson, chief security advisor at Microsoft, explained that improved broadband connection speeds are being exploited by fraudsters.

"With higher capacity broadband and better [operating systems], and higher power computers it is easier now to send out billions of spams," he told the BBC.

"Three or four years ago the capacity wasn't there."

The same Security Intelligence Report from Microsoft also warned broadband internet users about the dangers of rogue security software, noting an increase in the number of incidences where consumers have been warned against a virus and directed to a site to download certain software only to find the downloads are infected.

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