Email Spamming: Why Dodging Filters Will Never Be Enough
Despite the filters and other protective measures that regular internet users and governments utilize, email spamming still consists of 80% of the overall volume.
Most of this spam emails do not get through the Inbox internet users. Thanks to the extra precaution which is strictly put in by Internet Service Providers, a significant number of spam is rejected in the SMTP Transaction. These rejected emails are redirected instead to the bulk folder.
However, the ISP can only do so much. As the volume of spam continue to increase, Internet Service Providers and filters both rely on automation to keep spam at bay. Before, a team of people can be designated to manually assess emails and tune filters to keep out spam. But as more and more people use emails which result to the significant increase of spam, keeping a team of spam detectors just prove to be too costly and complex to keep.
Automatic filters are less difficult to avoid as compared to manual filters in some ways.
But how does one detect spam?
Because internet users are becoming smarter, spammers also become more cunning. Now, a spam email may not even look suspicious at first glance. It may even have an official-looking header complete with an authoritative email body and signed with a complete set of name plus contact details from the sender.
In order not to be swayed by non-suspicious looking spam emails, take a look at these checklist:
- Check if the email was received by more than one address. If the email has been sent to multiple recipients, chances are, the sender has been harvesting email addresses.
- Check the email address and compare with the name on the signature of the email. Sometimes, the email address would contain one name (firstname.lastname@example.org) but signed with another name at the end of the message (Phoebe Geller).
- Try to check out the website or domain from the email address. If it leads to a cookie cutter page without any real contact details such as phone number and physical address, this is already a red flag.
- Try to check out the IP address and check out the website it is connected to. Does it have a clean or dubious track record with regards to spam?
- Check out the WhoIs records of the address. Does it contain small, twisty URLs of websites? Are the websites similar to one another in form and content?
- List item
When the above guidelines ring true for the email received, it could be that:
• The email is collecting an opt-out request from its recipients using a Gmail mailbox.
• The mail obviously violates CAN SPAM because it is connected to a website or establishment that does not have a physical address.
The above guidelines on how to unravel the credibility of an email if it is spam or not can be done by any user. It is therefore easier for ISPs and email filtering agencies to detect a spam message.
The Downside of Outsourcing
Most businesses, especially the smaller ones, have outsourced their corporate emails to third-party email providers like Outlook or Gmail. Microsoft and Google do not do manual investigation of emails but through algorithm.
Because of this, online criminals can get away with spamming without having to suffer much in terms of delivery failures.