Thinking out of the #inbox… What’s The Best #Technology to Stop #Spam?

TheSpamMachine

Legislative measures failed to stop the spam! But governments around the world are increasing their vigilance and penalties for these painful perpetrators. The most recent is the Canadian Anti-spam legislation which comes into effect mid next year. Since spam is basically a human problem you can do something about it using anti-spam technology. An…ti-spam software is NOT the only thing we have to block undesired messages and it’s not a foolproof method. Let’s see why…

Most anti-spam applications use inspection techniques to detect spam emails! The anti-spam program analyzes incoming messages and checks the message content against a known profile of spam. Something like it asks a question… “Does this message look as spam?” and based on that analysis the anti-spam program makes the final decision to allow the message or block it. At best this approach can delete most of the spam emails allowing only a few to get through. Naturally however, it also blocks email that we want to read, and I’m sure that everyone reading this has experienced this issue.

The analysis method is not as reliable as it seems! If you slacken the rules, you’ll get more spam in your inbox. If the rules are too strict, you’ll stop all the spam with the risk of blocking quite legitimate messages. A legitimate email incorrectly blocked as spam is called a false positive. If you get a lot of false positives, you will need to read all the spam emails looking for good messages among the rubbish. But this completely negates the need and effectiveness of anti-spam software.

The main disadvantage of the analysis method is that the filters that work fine today can stop working tomorrow! Spammers can also use an anti-spam program to refine and tailor their emails so that they can get around the filters. As quickly as the developers improve their anti-spam programs, the spammers perfect their spam techniques. That’s why we get V1agra and C1alis and many other misspelled words in spam emails. Certain sophisticated techniques allow spammers make an email message that looks differently to both a human and the anti-spam program, for example, when an email contains text readable by the recipient but the program sees it as a picture. These kinds of spam emails are growing in popularity for spammers now.

Whitelist and Blacklist do not solve the problem either. Adding trusted email addresses to the whitelist is not quite safe as it seems to be. Nowadays viruses are known to use the email addresses from various address books to forge the messages and send themselves out. It’s not possible to add all the email addresses or even email domains to the blacklist either. Spammers do not use real email addresses to send spam. Today you get a spam email from this domain and tomorrow you can receive the very same spam email from a different domain. If you blacklist all the spammers’ emails, this will result in the blacklist of an interminable size and slow down anti-spam software.

A unique approach to spam is not to filter it, but avoid it from the very outset! This technique makes you totally invisible to spammers. Using a service like wumber an email address which you can confidently receive email on is only valid for the person or business that you give it to. It can’t be used by anybody else, so it doesn’t matter if spammers get a hold of it, they can’t use it. This is a proactive approach to spam management while all the other methods mentioned above are reactive.

Controlling spam requires out of the inbox thinking! If you can’t be seen by a spammer, you can’t be spammed! There is also another side to this equation too. If you subscribe to a service with newsletters and other regular email notifications, you can limit the amount of emails that you get from each person that you have given your email address details to. You can limit the number of emails, the time allowed to send you email to say just 1 week or 1 minute. The bottom line in the war against spam is not lost, it just needed a new approach.

Simply put, the war between the spammers and their victims continues for those users who haven’t yet subscribed to wumber. So if you’re not a wumble (a term given to wumber users) take care and keep your anti-spam filters in fighting trim. You can join wumber anti-spam for free and it’s free for everyone to use, so join today!

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