November 25, 2014

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Keyboard Click anti spam

Where does Spam come from?

Where does Spam come from?

It would seem to be logical that if we can identify where spam comes from, it would be easy to stop the spammers. One of the parameters that spam filtering services work with is identifying the Internet Service Providers (ISP) of a message and then blocking the ISP. This is why legitimate emails sometimes wind up in your spam folder, the filter is working based upon an assumption that if the majority of spam comes from India, Vietnam and Brazil then blocking all message from ISPs in those countries will prevent spam from breaking through to your inbox. Unfortunately, there are legitimate businesses that are also registered on those ISPs as well and they can get sent to the spam folder too if you are not using a dynamic filtering service like Clean Message.

Spam by Country

Another thing that filtering and security services have been able to show is that the type of spam tends to vary from country to country. Spam from Asia is going to try and sell you something. You may be surprised to find out that spam that has viruses to steal your information or control of your machine tends to come from America. Nigerian ISPs have a high rate of spam associated addresses, with almost 62% of the registered addresses from Nigeria being associated with spamming.

Why those countries?

Spammers use these ISPs because the country’s Internet laws allow for certain types of activities that may be banned on ISPs registered in other countries. Similar to how online gambling can work, a casino may have to have an ISP located in Croatia in order to legally operate, but anyone in the world can use the site, as long as their earnings are process in a legal area as well. The issue with spam is not the ISP address it comes from, this only helps to identify loopholes in international data laws and individual country Internet laws, but where the spam originates from. Using online gambling as an example again, the casino with the Croatian ISP may be owned and operated by someone in Florida. To stop spam completely, you have to find the owner and masking the owner’s identity is too easy on the Internet and too costly to uncover.

The importance of Anti-spam services

Uncovering owner identity is too costly when the industry is dependent on goodwill development of spam filters by services like Google. Dedicated spam filtering service providers, like CleanMessage, not only help to gather and analyze statistical data that can be used for shaping Internet policy and laws, but it also allows for monetary resources to be refocused on fighting the origination of spam, not just blocking it as it comes in.

June 11, 2014

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Spam filter

Understanding Spam Filters

Here to Help With The Basics of Understanding Spam Filters

When you are deciding what type of spam filter will be best for your business, there are several things to consider. Buying the most expensive program or subscribing to the highest level of spam filtering service may not always be the best thing to do. The key to selecting the right spam filtering is to match the economy and efficiency of the filter to the level of spam you need to filter, while also planning for the future. Whatever product you decide to use should be able to resolve your immediate problem with spam, and be expandable to handle future modifications to spam practices.

Why filtering always has to change

Spam and viruses not only travel hand in hand, they have much in common in their implementation practices. As developers create tools and resources to effectively filter spam, like they create security products to detect viruses; the spammer has to change their structure and approach to circumvent the filter to get their spam into your inbox. This is why you cannot expect to buy one product or sign up for a static filtering service and be done with the problem for life. Spam changes to work around filters; you need a filter that changes dynamically as well to keep you protected.

The Basic Filter

The basic spam filter is also the most efficient, but the least practical for your business. The basic filter consists of an instruction to the filter to block and redirect any incoming message that does not match a registered address in your contacts list to the spam box or trash. This was one of the most highly effective ways to protect a personal email box because unlike a business, personal emails don’t often contain unknown address contacts that are important. The problem with the basic filter is that spammers have used a variety of methods to scrape contact lists in order to generate spam that appears to come from someone you know to bypass the filter.

Customizing Parameters

A better choice for filtering is to customize the parameters of the filter. The parameters set the rules of logic for a filtering program to decide whether an email is most likely spam or not. For personal use, you can ask it to look at subject lines, internal links and contact addresses and increase the chances of it filtering the majority of spam. For businesses, you need a more dynamic solution where the parameters can include source IPs, redirection detection, content analysis and keyword analysis. For a business, it is also vitally important that these parameters are dynamically managed and updated on a regular basis. Unless you have a large enough business to dedicate money to fighting spammers, it is more cost efficient to subscribe to a filtration service such as CleanMessage.

June 4, 2014

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Cost of spam to business

Cost of Spam, The 100 to 1 Ratio

Cut the Cost of spam, you don’t need it anyway

Rao and Reiley are two names you often hear whenever the spam is discussed. Not because they are the masterminds of some dark conglomerate of spammers, but they are leading researchers who study spam, its economic impact and how to negate its effect on society. Justin Rao is one of the leaders of Microsoft Research, and David Reiley is from Google. Together they have estimated that spam costs society over 20 billion dollars each year, while bringing the spammers a net profit of 200 million. That makes the cost of spam a 100 to 1 ratio.

If you just delete it, how can it hurt anything?

It seems hard to believe that spam has an impact in cost on the rest of us when all we do with it is delete it or filter it out. It is both the deleting and filtering that has such an enormous hidden price. Even just spending the time to scan message titles to make the decision to delete interrupts your work flow and winds up costing you money by taking time, energy and resources away from your work. That cost of spam may be too esoteric to feel is really important, so consider what is involved in setting up a spam filter. Setting up a spam filter may take you seconds, but somebody had to spend the time developing it for the email platform you use. Since most of us use free email platforms, this means that one of the resources developed is the spam filter. This tool, and the development time it represents, represents a cost to a company like Google in developing a specific kind of tool that would have been better spent in providing you with a tool that was focused on enhancing your ability to be efficient and productive on the Internet.

Changing the balance of the ratio

The more efficient the anti-spam tools you have, the less effect that it will have on your productivity. The most efficient tools are not going to come from free resources and you don’t want them too. Developers who specialize in producing products like CleanMessage are working productively to resolve a problem by providing you with a tool. This leaves developers whose focus is providing productivity toolsets for your email program to focus on enhancing its capabilities. An overreliance on companies like Google or Yahoo to provide an anti-spam service means their larger, free services are not going to reach the heights they can, and that you can benefit from.