Currently, I get 50-75 spams a day. I can quickly scan my junk mail folder
and retrieve occasional misplaced legitimate email. Today, spam is only an
annoyance, but given the number of potential spammers and the ability of
computers to generate spam, it may not be long before I’m getting 500 – 750
spams a day. What will happen if it goes to 5000 – 7500 spams a day? Is that an
unreasonable fear? I don’t think so. I would have no ability to deal with that
level of attack. It would ruin the reliability of email. Do you know of anything
being done at the industry level to effectively address this?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #68, I look at the ever-increasing threat of email spam.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Too much spam!
To be honest, I’m not worried about getting the 5000-7500 level of spams a
Yes, there are definitely opportunities for more and more spammers to get
into the business. Generating spam via computers is very easy. This has been
going on for years, and years, and years. I mean, spam is nothing new; spam has
been around for almost as long as email now; you know, I’d say at least a
couple of decades. There are definitely both sides to the equations.
Spammers are constantly coming up with new techniques and ways of generating
spam. But the spam-fighting industry (and absolutely, there is one) is
constantly looking at ways to prevent spam, to block spam, to keep it from
Good spam filters
The best thing you can do is to invest in or use a system that has a good
spam filter. It’s one of the reasons that I actually route all of my email
through Google’s Gmail. Gmail actually has one of the better spam filters that
I’m aware of. In other words, it does a very good job of deciphering what
should be spam (that gets shuffled off to the Spam folder) and what
should not be (that shows up in my inbox.)
Like any spam-filtering solution, there are occasional mismatches. I do
occasionally have to grab something out of the spam folder and I do
occasionally have to mark something as spam (something that made it to my
inbox), but by and large, that’s the most effective way to deal with this.
As the volume of spam increases, or rather if the volume of spam
increases to the level that you’re concerned about, I really do believe that
the industry in general (which basically boils down to the email service
providers like Gmail, like Hotmail, like Yahoo, like many others) will
definitely also ramp up their technologies to help continue to make email more
manageable for folks like you and me.