Spam email can be a royal pain in the backside, especially if you are someone who depends on email for conducting business or keeping in touch with large numbers of contacts.
Spam is, if you don’t already know, unsolicited email which typically servers as an advertisement for a product (usually) or service.
Whilst some spam messages are sent by individuals it has been my experience that the one man band dubious marketers tend to focus on leaving useless blog comments.
Spam email, on the other hand, is typically sent in bulk by which I mean somewhere in the range of several thousand emails per hour per spamming group.
Even though the response rate may be ridiculously low, the companies behind such organised campaigns still turn a hefty profit since their costs are negligible.
The spam messages that are sent by these companies can be distributed by mass-mailing programs or via botnets and the recipients are often acquired through lists that have been bought or by harvesting their emails from the web.
Whilst receiving a few junk emails a day may seem to be fairly innocuous just imagine what it would be like to receive several hundred spam messages!!
I probably receive an average of around 600 spam emails every day.
If this website was about another subject I would want a spam filter in place to get rid of each and every one of them.
(As it is, I actually get some ideas for articles from the spam I receive!)
A spam filter is designed to enhance(?) a users experience of the internet, or at least make it more bearable at any rate.
What the filter does is screen all the content that becomes available to your system via email.
A spam filter can easily be installed, either directly onto your internet mail server or onto your computer.
Its also possible to install a spam filter onto a private server if you want it to work for numerous computers within the same network.
WHAT DOES A SPAM FILTER DO?
Spam filters screen out email that is unwanted by you by comparing the parameters of incoming email to configurable rules that you or the service provider can set up.
Its also possible to filter email according to the sender’s IP address though that is becoming less effective as marketers have long since discovered how to fake, mask and spoof an IP.
Additionally, emails can be scanned for their content and message heading though again there are many strategies used by spammers in order to circumvent those aspects of the filtering process.
Many internet service providers have their own spam filters which work to a degree but it is my experience that they are often far from perfect.
You should probably get you own spam filter if you are serious about drastically reducing the level of unsolicited email in your inbox.
After all, spam can not only be annoying, it can be dangerous too…
THE DANGER OF SPAM
There was a time when spam email was simply a nuisance which attempted to get people to buy pills and potions.
Things have evolved, however, and so we now see spam that incorporates elements of the other things I write about here, for example, spam emails have been known to include viruses, adware, trojans and spyware.
Also, spam can lead to credit card fraud and identity theft if you should hand any sensitive information over to those behind it.
Therefore I hope you can see why spam should be treated as more than just a distraction to whatever you use the internet for.
I like receiving spam on the email address associated with this site because it can sometimes prove useful.
For other email accounts I try and filter out as much as possible.