Back in 2004, Bill Gates said, Two years from now, spam will be solved. It’s been more than ten years now, and, as revealed by Kaspersky, more than 70% of emails even today are spam. This article provides an insight on why email spam is still a prevailing problem and questioning our email security?
The fact is email spam is going to be here, till we continue using emails. Now, as we can’t stop using emails, so we have to face the spam. But, we can, of course, become anti spam and use prevention and our conscience to not fall for this spam.
It’s true that unlike what Bill Gates expected, we still have spam but, it is also true that situation has improved a lot over the decade. Today we have much more effective spam filters, which is why most of the spam doesnt even reach your inbox. They automatically land into the spam box. But these spam filters are not 100% effective, so, some of these email spam can invade your email security system and land in your inbox. Thus, even users need to act smart and not fall for it.
For you, spam might be formulaic concept of which you are aware but there are still many people who for some strange reasons do believe in the spam messages. Perhaps, you know it well that there is no real Nigerian prince ready to share a part of his huge money with you.
But there are people who fall prey for this Nigerian prince letters with the hope of making money and get cheated. Otherwise, there are people, who dumbly buy a penny stock, advertised in spam or make an order for some cheap pharmaceuticals or click faulty links and download malware. Spam can encompass ads for drugs, products, services, money scams, stock market schemes, phishing, malware, etc.
And it is hard to control the dissemination of this spam and harder to stop individuals from falling prey of these tricks. Spam filters can help to an extent. Why spam is still a problem?
Spam is Cheap to Send
We don’t get letters from Nigerian prince in our physical mailboxes, right? To post a letter, someone needs to go to the letterbox or post office and also pay for postage. But emails are free, easy to send not just to one but thousands of recipients.
The spammer doesn’t require many resources, just a computer, internet connection, and an email account. So, there is no investment. Out of thousands, even one recipient falls prey of the spam; it’s enough for the spammer to make a profit.
Emails operate from individual email servers
Closed communication services such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. operate from a common server. If, a spam becomes a significant problem on the social network, then Facebook engineers will be able to detect the source of the spam and block it at the source. Also, they can remove all the spams that have got posted. They can scan all the posts and messages of Facebook as it has one common server.
But same is not true for emails. We all operate emails from our server. One can send emails to anyone, even if that person is not in the address book. Even a marked spam message in Gmail, Outlook.com, and Yahoo! Mail will appear as non-spam in other email services. Email servers that don’t have good spam filters are more vulnerable.
How to solve the spam problem? There can be laws to make spam illegal. Then legitimate email service providers can restrict spammers from using their services. Better spam filters should be there so that spam messages don’t reach peoples inboxes.
The fact, we already have these prevention measures in action. With time and technological advancement, perhaps better spam filters will come up to tighten email security.
But the major fight against spam has to be at individual level. People must get aware of these faulty messages. They should check their spam folder and see what kind of messages are spam. Then if they get such an email in their regular inbox, then they should avoid that message and delete it.
So, awareness is the right defense here.