SPAM 101

SPAM is one of the biggest problems facing computer users, as a result there are a lot of SPAM fighting tools out there. I wrote a couple of articles about prevention that are published here. SPAM part 1 and SPAM 2.0 and of course businesses can purchase devices just for blocking SPAM, this is rarely affordable for home owners though.
But, it is my thought that tools alone won’t solve your SPAM problems, along with those tools, you should know a few key facts about SPAM.
Let’s look at some details of SPAM so that you can “know your enemy” the advice of Sun Tzo in The Art of War.

First – SPAM works
The reason you receive so much unwanted e-mail is simply that it is an effective form of advertising. If it wasn’t effective, it would have died off by now. As you can tell by the number of unwanted messages in your inbox, it’s flourishing.

Second – SPAM is a business
SPAM is a form of advertising, no different from telemarketers or junk mailers—and it’s a very cost effective form of advertising. Even though regulations have appeared in some countries, spammers are not always following the rules and those that do, still want to “earn” a living. Besides, e-mailing 10,000 people costs a fraction of what it would cost to call or mail 1,000 people. Such low cost allows a much wider audience to be reached, and only a tiny percentage needs to respond to make a profit.

Third – Some people like SPAM
As scary as this may sound, it’s true. Some people love any form of communication sent to them. Although these people are (thankfully) few and far between, they are out there. The opportunity to get rich working from home, or have a better sex life is alluring to most people, and some people think that advertisements will provide those and other services.

Fourth – No one is sure how to combat SPAM
Microsoft supports an anti-framework technology called Sender ID. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is popular among the open source crowd. AOL and Yahoo announced a pay per e-mail scheme that quickly went the way of the Do-do. Bayesian filters are available as 3rd party add-on programs and appear in some e-mail clients. Which, if any of these, will be an overall solution to SPAM is unknown. Right now it seems that a combination of these technologies is best.

Fifth – In 2004, 73 percent of total internet e-mail was SPAM
A study conducted by Industry Ca showed that in 2004, 73 percent of all Internet e-mail was SPAM. If you thought that was a lot of unwanted mail, just last week, I read that figure for 2008 was up to 93% of all email was SPAM.

Finally – SPAM is not only for email. With Twittering (called TWAM), Instant Messaging (called SPIM) and other forms of Social Networking, SPAM has found new opportunities to proliferate.

Though SPAM may be an inconvenient fact of life, don’t let it get you down and most of all PLEASE don’t respond to any of it.

If you would like more information on blocking SPAM contact IFix Computers Inc in Beautiful Branson Missouri.

Until we meet again, have a virus free (and SPAM minimialized) week.

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