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Spam reaches 30-year anniversary

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
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Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Spam - the scourge of every e-mail inbox - celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend.

The first recognisable e-mail marketing message was sent on 3 May, 1978 to 400 people on behalf of DEC - a now-defunct computer-maker.

The message was sent via Arpanet - the internet's forerunner - and won its sender much criticism from recipients.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Spam reaches 30-year anniversary

I work with companies who spend several thousand pounds each year trying to fight spam and it still gets through :mad: Is spam an issue with you? What measures do you have in place to combat it?
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
Spam is an issue, and because e-mail is such a simple technology, it's a complete bu**er to stop spam.

However, having said this, a lot of this technology is now (slowly) evolving, and it wont be long until all e-mail servers have to use new authentication and verification processes to only allow emails to be sent if the domain is being hosted by that server. This in theory would stop almost 80% of all spam messages (yes ALL spam!) going around the Internet.

But it's not all good news! Rolling out new technology takes time, and actually implementing the technology isn't common practice yet. The other problem is that any computer on the Internet could inadvertently be set up as a mail server (if it has a virus, for example).

Have a peek on the Internet (maybe Google) for 'SPF Records'

Current Spam trappers use a rules basis in that it reads the email and gives it a point for every item that looks like spam, so for example:

Is there an image in the email? Yes! Okay, add a point.
Is there a link in the email? Yes! Okay, add a point.

This carries on... and then if the total is greater than X (where X is the number your spam trap software uses to define how seriously it polices your inbox) then it throws it into your spam folder.

Ideally all of this is done on your mail server, so you don't even have to bother downloading the spam messages at all.

With this system though, there can be errors. I have a link and image in my e-mail, so automatically I'm classed as a spammer (when I'm not! Honest!).

Ah spam... the bane of our e-Lifes, and yet, the life and soul of some!
 

Boxby

New Member
And that would explain why I have 5 messages a day in my spam filter, and 800+ that i need to delete each day!
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
It would seem that the spammers seem to be ahead of the technology used to detect it and it's hard to see how that can be reversed. I actually cant believe people are still making money out of most of these emails because they are so blatant. It must be the case of through enough at the wall and some of it will stick.

Why dont all the ISP's get together and create one collaborative organisation where everyone can direct their spam emails to?
 
T

Terry

New Member
The latest version of outlook has surprised me in it's ability to identify spam. In fact it has been so good for me personally that I have just disabled my standalone server side spam blocker.
 
L

lofty

New Member
I used to have a serious spam problem. I then switched my emails over to gmail (on the company domain) and 99% of spam has now stopped. Spambox gets in excess of 6000 messages every 30 days. Scary!
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
Putting your e-mail address in as text links (<a href="mailto:...") is a sure-way of spam-spiders tracking your address and subscribing you to spam mailing.

Thankfully I don't get anywhere near the region of 6000 messages in my spam box, if I did, I'd have a hard job making sure each one was definitely spam!

Depending on your e-mail provider, you can also set up a "white-list" on personal e-mail accounts (not a good idea for business ones!) where only people on this list are able to send e-mails through. (Wait for it, the clever bit is coming!)...

To get on this list, the user must e-mail you. Once they have done this, they receive an automated e-mail response back from the server asking them to confirm they are human: say for example: "What colour is the sky?" If they don't type "blue", then they're not added to the list!

Only once they've been added to the white-list do you actually receive their first e-mail message they sent... and of course, once on the list, all future e-mail just goes straight into your inbox without any need for verification!

It's not ideal, but that technology is there. Email is designed to be simple. Because of this simplicity in sending messages, the technology can be taken advantage of by less than ethical persons.
 
stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
If you're on Windows XP and you have Auto Updates enabled, you should hopefully see a Microsoft Office Junk Mail filter being installed soon!

If not, How to obtain the latest Outlook Junk E-mail Filter update has all the information. Microsoft have recently issued a new update for Office 2003, and Office 2007 to try and help fight spam! :)
 
Wills

Wills

Member
Verified Member
I remember the early instances of viruses in the 80's Dr Solomon brought the world a cure (I always think the providers of anti virus and spam trapping software fuels the system - but that's with my conspiracy head on) it is a pain, blocking is the only way around it, trawling through spam emails just isn't a good use of my time.
 

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