Why am I getting SPAM?

E-mail Addresses are a commodity! Spammers are trading in e-mail addresses and there is an economy behind the spam industry. Once you gets into a spam list, chances are that your e-mail address will be sold and with time you will get more and more spam.
Unfortunately, not enough is done by law enforcement authorities around the world to effectively fight spam.

The incentive to spam is money, the means are e-mail addresses.

How do spammers harvest e-mail addresses?

There are many ways spammers use to harvest e-mail addresses. Here is a list of some of the common methods used.

  1. Malware. There are numerous malware programs in the form of viruses, Trojan horses etc,. Those programs were built to collect e-mail addresses. The programs are seamlessly running on infected computers and search for e-mail addresses in mailboxes, address-books and other locations.
    Anyone that ever exchanged a message with you, either directly (send/receive) or indirectly (forward), could be a source for your e-mail address!
  2. Searching Robots. These programs are searching the Internet for e-mail addresses. All the Internet pages are scanned but there are certain locations, like forums, that are more extensively searched. Any e-mail address found is immediately available to spammers.
  3. Guessing Robots. These programs simply guess e-mail addresses. Below are three methods:
    • Dictionary based. All words from dictionaries and many permutations.
    • Alphabetical enumeration like abc, xy12 etc.
    • Similarity. E-mail addresses found at one domain will be used with other domains. Example: a known address Name-x@abc.com will be tried in all other domains like Name-x@xyz.com and Name-x@lmn.com.
  4. Innocent submission of e-mail. As e-mail is a very convenient method of communication, you are requested to give your e-mail address often. Unfortunately, e-mail lists somehow "leak" out and get into the hands of spammers.
  5. Chain e-letters. The nature of the chain letters is that they contain a lot of e-mail addresses. If such a message reaches a spammer or more likely, someone who is affected by malware (as described above), this list becomes available to a spammer.
  6. And there are more...

Strong incentive to send spam, week enforcement to stop spammers and high chances to get into a spammer list results with a lot of spam messages.

If we can live with most spam automatically detected and stored in the Junk folder, knowing that there are small chances for mistakes, then the default Safe-mail.net setup is OK.

However, Safe-mail.net provides a much stronger protection. Safe-mail.net has a special mechanism that will only allow messages from those that are listed in your Address Book to reach your account. This mechanism provides strong protection and no spam at all.

Read other documents.
Mon Jul 30, 2007