How does your email ID influence spam you receive?

If you and your friend have email accounts provided by the same ISP or you got those on the same webmail system, you will receive different amounts of spam messages. And the number of spam even might be uninfluenced by sharing email address online. The newest research once again confirmed the fact that spambots often send the spam blindly by generating various email IDs.

Richard Clayton (University of Cambridge) studied spam emails delivered to users of certain ISP in the United Kingdom for 8 weeks. He checked over half billion of emails and came up with an interesting conclusion: email ID does influence how many spam you receive. Though he hadn’t shared exact statistics, he reported that email addresses that begin with letters at the start of alphabet receive more spam than those that begin with letters towards the end of the ABC. There are two different reasons for these results. When spambot starts generating email addresses and flooding those with emails, addresses starting with A get the spam, addresses starting with B get the spam and the process reiterates, but at some point spam filter recognizes the scheme. Therefore Z addresses and others beginning with letters towards the end of alphabet receive less offers to buy Viagra or take lottery prize. But this rule isn’t the only one: the results revealed that addresses beginning with M, R, P and S receive more spam than those beginning with the letter A. Apparently spambots generate email IDs that make sense, i.e. names and surnames. As names beginning with letters M, R, P and S are quite common, more spam targets the addresses.

The research by Richard Clayton is not exhaustive yet but it gives new ideas on how spam filters should function.


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