Monday, September 28, 2009

Idaho -- No. 1 for Spam

According to the folks at Symantec, who sound like they should know about this kind of thing, Idaho now ranks as the No. 1 state in the union (up from No. 44) for receiving spam e-mails.

Symantec says that 93.8 percent -- or slightly over 9 out of 10 e-mails received -- in the state are spam. A slightly more detailed report (excluding state rankings) is here.

What I'd like to know is this:

1) How do they measure such a thing
2) Who is getting all of these messages
3) What are they doing wrong

Gratefully, it's not me. I may have received a handful of spam messages this year, but the number is small, perhaps less than a couple dozen messages this year, and that's spread over four independent e-mail accounts. That I have filters that target common spam headers and drop it in folders I only see to delete might explain why I don't struggle with spam.

It's hard to say what kind of behavior nets the fewest -- or the most -- spam messages, based on my behavior. On one account -- at work -- I receive maybe one or two spam messages (ironically, I got one this morning) a year. That's likely due to two factors: I use work e-mail for work only, and the company has some pretty strong spam filters.

The other e-mail accounts I have make less sense. We have a "family" e-mail account which we use occasionally when, I don't know, we want to pretend like we're wearing tuxedoes and formal dresses or something. That rarely gets spammed, probably because we don't use it all that often.

I also have a Yahoo e-mail account I use for random things, such as shuttling personal files to and from various locations, registering for e-mail sites, my Twitter, Blogger and YouTube accounts and such. I get some spam at this address, but not a lot, considering the uses I put this account to.

My Uncharted e-mail, for some reason, is the biggest offender. And I can't figure out why. I don' use it indiscrimanently, nordo I use it for any kind of blind and dumb e-mail registrations and such, for which I use the Yahoo account.

Both Uncharted (which is through Gmail) and Yahoo filter out the spam and put it in its own folder, which I empty from time to time. The messages pile up, but I can't say they pile up in massive amounts over time. I can't say that 9 out of 10 e-mails I receive is spam; the number is probably closer to three or four out of ten. That's still a lot, but 30 to 40 percent is a lot less than 93 percent. And since I'm below average in spam receipts in Idaho, that must mean somebody's getting more spam than I am. You can keep it. I don't want it.

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