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Fight with Spam

Everyone with an email address is familiar with spam. “Spam” e-mail is generally defined as unsolicited mailing with many copies flooding the Internet. In most cases, the Spam is some form of commercial advertising as it costs the sender very little compared with a traditional letter. However, the increasing volume of spam is a growing cost for the receiving individuals and companies. As long ago as 1996, a company called Cyber Promotions sent 1.8 million emails to AOL users per day. Now, MessageLabs reports than one in seven emails in the U.K. are spam, and some estimates say that that rises to 30% in the US. The problem is also growing in Hong Kong, recently we have observed a growing number of local companies sending unsolicited advertisements.

Supports of spam say that it only takes a moment to delete an unwanted message, but MessageLabs figures suggest that 10 percent of each working day is spent dealing with spam. If only one in ten of Hong Kong's 300,000 companies sent you an unwanted message just once a year, you would receive 82 messages a day. Taking just ten seconds to identify and delete each one would occupy almost two working weeks each year. So spam is a significant burden to the recipient, and ISP and online service companies are also the victims as it occupies their servers and bandwidth.

The spammers mailing lists may be created by searching web-pages, stealing from ISP or Email-provider companies, scanning the Usenet postings or simply guessing at possible addresses, like Responding to the "click here to be removed from this list" may just make the problem worse, as this confirms to the spammer that your address is active.

Spammers may also use underhand methods when sending the spam: They may conceal the real origin by forging the From: address in the message and envelope. They may send the mail directly from a dial-up account, without going through the ISP's mail server. These accounts are known as throwaway accounts because the spammers know they will be shut down within a few days - they may pay for these accounts using stolen credit cards, taking the spammer from antisocial to criminal behaviour. They may send the mail via open mail relays (mail servers that accept mail from anywhere to any destination - this used to be the standard configuration when the Internet was small and friendly, nowadays the normal practice is to only accept mail to is to or from your organisation).

Yui Kee provides a choice of spam-fighting systems to meet different organizations' needs. Please contact us at for more details on how we can help you fight spam.

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