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Spam statistics – January 2007

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday January 31, 2007 )

While there’s no end in sight to the battle against spam in all its various forms, we can be thankful that there are tools available such as our ISPs, web hosts and others implement so that we can have a relatively clean inbox.

Before jumping down your provider’s throat about a couple of spam messages that may be hitting your inbox daily, bear in mind that huge level that you probably don’t get as a result of their efforts. It’s a very fine line they tread between effective filtering and blocking legitimate messages. If the paranoid meter is set even a smidgen too high, the result is many false positives (legitimate email blocked or bounced).

If you’d like to get total control over your inbox, probably the best way to do so is to use a third party service that offers a challenge/response process – these are usually plugin services that are very easy to configure. I discuss this more in my article on anti-spam services. The article also contains a link to a free trial service you may like to give a whirl.

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While we might not see the bulk of the spam and viruses headed our way courtesy of the filtering systems provided by our ISP or web host; the onslaught from malicious and unsolicited messages has by no means abated. In fact, it’s getting worse on all fronts – be it email, blog comment or splog spam.

According to current statistics from Postini, 10 out of 12 messages are spam and 1 in 39 emails contain a virus.

Commtouch also shows major jumps in spam in recent months according to their Spam Labs statistic section.

MessageLabs’ figures show an average of 57% and a peak rate of 79% spam emails. MessageLabs processes over 180 million messages a day.

On the blog side of things, Akismet, a spam filtering system for blog comments, has been very busy making bloggers’ lives a little easier. By the way, if you’re running WordPress, it’s really a ‘gotta have’. Akismet has saved me many hours in clearing out spam comments in this blog’s moderation queue.

Even though many blogs now use the nofollow tag and there’s no search engine ranking boosting benefit by littering blogs using nofollow with spam links; spammers certainly haven’t been discouraged. Akismet’s stats show that 94% of all blog comments are spam. Last I checked, I get around a hundred a day and I know of many bloggers getting far more than that.

According to Memeta, of the 14 million blogs which pinged weblogs.com over the last 4 weeks, over 50% of those pings were from splogs (spam blogs).

While there’s no end in sight to the battle against spam in all its various forms, we can be thankful that there are tools available such as our ISPs, web hosts and others implement so that we can have a relatively clean inbox.

Before jumping down your provider’s throat about a couple of spam messages that may be hitting your inbox daily, bear in mind that huge level that you probably don’t get as a result of their efforts. It’s a very fine line they tread between effective filtering and blocking legitimate messages. If the paranoid meter is set even a smidgen too high, the result is many false positives (legitimate email blocked or bounced).

If you’d like to get total control over your inbox, probably the best way to do so is to use a third party service that offers a challenge/response process – these are usually plugin services that are very easy to configure. I discuss this more in my article on anti-spam services. The article also contains a link to a free trial service you may like to give a whirl.



 

 
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