Hurrah! Spam Is On The Decline

There are many reasons to be joyful this holiday season. Here’s another to add to your list!
Mail providers around the world have been rejoicing at the news that spam is on the decline. The unavoidable irritation that has existed almost as long as the internet itself is finally showing decreasing numbers. But why has it taken so long for spam to fade into the background?
Spam emails are usually very hard to believe, and it can be equally as hard to believe that there’s still a legion of webizens falling hook line and sinker for these scams over and over again. Unfortunately though this is reality, and spam has stuck around so long simply because it works. Now there may even be some who are disappointed to hear that emails from supposed royalty from unknown countries will be phasing out, but we are guessing that the majority of individuals will be happy to hear that their spam folders will be a little bit lighter.
We are finally one step closer to claiming our email inboxes back as our own, no longer needing to deal with a headache-inducing mess of information we don’t need or want alongside the few occasional emails which are actually useful to us. Bill Gates predicted in 2004 that spam would soon die out, but we saw little evidence of this over the subsequent decade.
2008 was supposedly the pinnacle spam year, with only 50% of emails actually containing legitimate information. In 2015, according to Kaspersky Labs, our inboxes now contain anywhere from 67%-80% of genuine emails.
Why is spam out its way out?
Experts have decided that the spam stream is running dry because of three main areas: spam filters, stricter laws, and evolving technologies. Regardless of the increased intelligence of spammers – some spam emails are indistinguishable from genuine mail – recipients have been wising up to online security issues and fewer have been taking the bait. Because spam is so commonplace there are very few recipients are actually taking spam seriously, thus making spam increasingly ineffective.
Our inboxes now come fully equipped with top-of-the-line spam filters to keep all of the riff raff out, so the majority of spam never reaches the human eye. There is the off chance that an automated email that we do need is directed to our spam box, but that is a risk that most of us are willing to take.
The government has also taken a stance against spammers to stem the flow of junk emails. Laws like the US CAN-SPAM Act have created stricter guidelines and punishment for convicted spammers, and have dedicated specific funds for the detection and prosecution of spam attacks.
Because spam can cause anything from annoyance to a detrimental trojan, mail providers have invested in research and development for spam control. All email is now scanned for authenticity before allowing users to open the file. These evolving technologies help everyday users to avoid the catastrophic results from malware and viruses.         
I’m still getting an inordinate amount of spam – what can I do?
If your email is still being bombarded with spam and you would like to take actions to prevent it, there are a few steps you can take to ease the load.

  1. Mark All Spam

Every time you mark an email as spam you are alerting your provider to the fact that you don’t want any more emails from this specific sender. Your provider will then route all emails from that origin directly to your spam folder.

  1. Raise Your Spam Filter

If a lot of spam is making it into your inbox there may be a chance that your spam filter isn’t set high enough. With most email providers there is an option to raise the sensitivity on your spam filter for extra protection. Take note though that some of the emails that you would like to go to your inbox may be directed to your spam box, so remember to check it periodically.

  1. Create SPF Records

This is a drastic method to reduce all emails reaching your inbox. An SPF record is a type of DNS that identifies allowed incoming mail. It also prohibits spammers from sending mail on behalf of your IP address. By creating an SPF record you will only receive emails from IP addresses that you have allowed. This option works great if your email is only used for a specific purpose, but is not ideal for general usage as many of your emails will not be received.

For more information on spam avoidance or how to create an SPF record, visit our Knowledgebase or contact Midphase tech support for assistance.