Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why you still get spam even although you have a spam filter.


I’m constantly asked by clients why they still get spam when they have a spam filter, the short answer ‘because there’s money to be made from morons’. As long as someone somewhere continues to buy things from spam emails they’ll never go away.

The longer answer is a little more complex but relates back to the same point made above. The spam filter installed on your computer works in conjunction to a spam filter where your emails are hosted as well as complex intelligent filters put in place by the people who provide the rack space for your host’s mail sever, and in some cases by your ISP. There are many links to this anti-spam chain, so how come spam still gets through?

Because spam emails only need a conversion rate of about 0.0001% to be deemed a success spammers have to send out billions of emails. The only way spammers can send out billions of emails is by circumventing the many levels of filtering put in place to stop them, but because there’s so much money to be made in sending spam it stands to reason that it’s worth spammers investing in new and ever more devious ways to get their horrid emails through to you the potential customer. And that’s where the spam cycle comes in;

The Spam Cycle
1.Spam filters get wise to a method being used by spammers and for a little while spam levels reduce
2. Spammers figure out a new way to get around spam filters and pump out billions of emails
Repeat steps 1 and 2 indefinitely