January 30, 2008
Spam Spammity Spam

I've talked about spam before in TechNews here, here, here, and here.

Mostly I don't hear much from people in Extension about spam because most people don't actually get much spam. Then, there'll be a brief influx of more spam than usual and people want to know what's up, where that spam came from, how it can be stopped.

Here are some things to keep in mind when occasionally thinking about spam:

First, when you see a sudden influx of spam in your mailbox, it's most likely not because someone's been giving out your address or selling mailing lists. Spammers have automatic name generators, some of them are only in business to verify legitimate email addresses and sell them to other spammers, they crawl websites, join mailing lists to harvests names and generally devote 100% of their time to finding all the email addresses they can.

Also, remember that:

--90% of all email is spam
--90 BILLION emails a day are spam
--If 90% of your email is NOT spam, then someone, somewhere is working to stop spam from getting to your mailbox
--ISU works very hard to make sure you get all of your legitimate email and as little spam as possible--this means that occasionally you see more spam than you'd like.
--If you're not filtering your mail on ISU's Perlmx ratings, why not?
--Spam vs spam fighters is a war--sometimes we win for a little while; sometimes the spammers do.

Things you can do:

--Don't reply to spam (ever)
--Filter your email
--Enable Outlook's Junk Folder (remember to check this folder occasionally for 'false positives'--messages reported as Junk that are not actually Junk)
--Delete spam messages unread

ISU has a Spam FAQ which describes in more detail Iowa State's spam fighting efforts.

Posted by dcoates at January 30, 2008 09:15 AM