Is Your Inbox Feeling Lonely?

Written by Casper Manes on January 23, 2013

I caught an article this weekend on The Economist about spam. In that article, the author references a report published recently by Kaspersky Labs that spam has fallen to a low of 67% of all email. The article is extremely light in detail, and does not provide reference to the actual Kaspersky study though it did include a pretty graph. While I would have preferred to discuss the actual study, I could not find it on Kaspersky’s website either. The comments section on both the Economist’s site, and the discussion thread on Fark are both quite amusing, but I will leave it as an exercise for you to review if you please. What I decided to do with this post instead is to ask you, our readers, how you feel the fight against spam is going.

 

Rather than running a survey, I want to ask you questions that you can answer in the comments below. That way, we all get immediate answers, can spur up some conversations, and all keep everything here, rather than linking off to another site or waiting for me to collate and publish the results. Call it a social experiment.

 

So, without further ado, please consider answering any or all of the following questions. There are only 11, you can hit as many as you want in a single comment. In a follow-up post, I will try to summarize the answers to see if there are any trends, or to address any more specific questions that come out.

 

  1. What do you use for anti-spam/phishing/malware? On-prem and built-in to your email software, on-prem software or appliance, cloud based solution, or nothing. I’m not looking for brands here, just the high-level solution that most readers tend to favour.
  2. What percentage of email hitting your anti-spam solution do you consider to be spam?
  3. What percentage of email blocked by your anti-spam solution do you consider to be false positives (blocked as spam, but should have been delivered?)
  4. What percentage of email blocked by your anti-spam solution do you consider to be false negatives (should have been blocked, but got through?)
  5. Do your users have self-service access to release blocked messages, or do they have to call the help desk?
  6. What do you consider the biggest problem-spam, phishing, or malware?
  7. What technology do you use on your endpoints (users’ workstations, phones, etc.) to filter spam?
  8. Do you filter outbound email?
  9. Do you have SPF records in DNS for your email domains?
  10. Do you block inbound email that fails an SPF check?
  11. If we could focus on any one topic, to address in either a post or a series of posts, what would you most like to see?

 

So, eleven questions to which I am dying to read your answers. Again, you can answer as few or as many as you want, but I’m really most curious about three things.

 

What do you consider the biggest problem?

What percentage of email hitting your border do you call spam?

What would you like to read about here on AllSpammedUp.com?

 

Thanks for your time. I look forward to reading, and addressing, your responses soon!

 

Comments

Asia January 30, 2013

What do you use for anti-spam/phishing/malware? On-prem and built-in to your email software, on-prem software or appliance, cloud based solution, or nothing. I’m not looking for brands here, just the high-level solution that most readers tend to favour.

ZoneAlarm, but honestly I’m not too sure if it detects spam or suspicious e-mails. Since I don’t know much about such tools, I just depend on whatever is integrated in the e-mail software.

What percentage of email hitting your anti-spam solution do you consider to be spam?

around 90 percent

What percentage of email blocked by your anti-spam solution do you consider to be false positives (blocked as spam, but should have been delivered?)

around 5 percent

What percentage of email blocked by your anti-spam solution do you consider to be false negatives (should have been blocked, but got through?)

about 3

Do your users have self-service access to release blocked messages, or do they have to call the help desk?

I don’t know how to answer this question.

What do you consider the biggest problem-spam, phishing, or malware?

All of them! Why should we deglamourize the others?

What technology do you use on your endpoints (users’ workstations, phones, etc.) to filter spam?

workstations and mobile devices

Do you filter outbound email?

No.

Do you have SPF records in DNS for your email domains?

I don’t know

Do you block inbound email that fails an SPF check?

I don’t even know what SPF check is.
If we could focus on any one topic, to address in either a post or a series of posts, what would you most like to see?

how spam is evolving. I think that’s interesting.

Bernard Frommer January 31, 2013

I don’t mind having a lonely inbox at all. In fact, I want to experience days when I have nothing substantial to read, forward, reply, etc. But then it may also mean I’ll be out of work. I’d love to answer your questionnaire, but it’s quite too long and like Asia (nice name, by the way), I don’t know much about the questions. I need more education about spam and technologies. That’s why I am here, reading the many blog posts. All I can say is that around 5 percent of my good mails end up in the Spam folder, but I don’t really mind.

Laura February 2, 2013

Some more answers:
What do you consider the biggest problem?
The fact that no matter how sophisticated filters are spammers always seem to find a way to bypass them.

What percentage of email hitting your border do you call spam? 50%+.

What would you like to read about here on AllSpammedUp.com?
Info on new scams, tips about how to fight spam – basically the things you already cover. And yeah, I would like to read more often about bots taken down and spammers behind bars but I guess this doesn’t depend on your will to write about – this news must happen first. :) )

Odette June 2, 2013

Yes, Bernard, I definitely want to experience how it is to have a lonely inbox. Ever since I got my email up and running, I have been barraged with messages coming from different sectors. I used to get a lot of spam, until I learned how to filter my emails. I still get quite a number, but not anywhere near what I used to receive. It is now down to around 75% from a high of about 90%. As for what I want to see on allspammed, like Asia, I would like to get more details about how spam evolves.

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