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Who is Winning the Spam War?
How Companies Are Combating Email Spam
by Bernard Kohan
Are you struggling with your email? Too many spams? Are 5%-10% of your emails not reaching their destination?
Why do we have laws to protect us against fraud, pornography, scams and criminal behavior with our United States Postal Mail, but our email is filled with every kind of criminal behavior there is?
What if one day you wake up to events like the following being common place with our US Postal Mail . . .
- You try to mail an important letter, but they throw it away.
- Your mail box is full of letters from criminals but an important letter from a loved one is returned.
- You find your 8 year old sorting through your mail and seeing postcards with blatant adult content and fake Viagra ads.
- Your home is regularly invaded by Nigerian gangs and thieves, and there is no authority to help you.
The sad reality is that these things are happening every day on our computers with our email, and because there is so much criminal activity and it is so common place, people are accepting it as normal.
One could almost compare today's spam war to World War II. Spam is like Nazi Germany, and GMail is like the Allied forces. The difference is that the Allies won the war. It seems that in today's Spam war, the Spam is destroying and taking over the world. GMail appears to be the only company that is standing tall against Spam.
Here is why GMail is the best at providing email service and fighting spam:
- Mail server owners / administrators are so sick and tired of spam that they are willing to block or junk mail 5% - 10% of legit emails in order to block spams.
- Mail server owners / administrators, although they knowingly block and junk mail a percentage of legit emails, they will not block and will white list large ISPs because they know blocking a large ISP will create thousands and thousands of support calls.
- Dealing with email spam is becoming such a headache that most ISPs would rather get out the email business altogether.
- All other large providers are providing consumer level email services to receive some advertising revenue, and do not care about delivering emails. That is why with those large email portal companies, a large percentage (20%+) of legit emails is either being rejected or being put into the junk mailbox. There is always a good percentage of junk mail that finds a way into the regular mailbox.
- The only large email portal company who is standing tall, and is doing an incredible job separating legit email from spam is GMail.
- With Gmail, although there are times that a small percentage of junk mail finds a way into a regular Inbox, it is incredibly rare for Gmail to block or junk mail a legitimate email.
Problems that spam email is causing today:
- Adult content is being sent to our email accounts for children to see
- Elderly and unaware people are being deceived and taken advantage of by fake email ads and notices, pretending to be legitimate companies or even friends
- Businesses small and large are loosing revenue and cannot conduct business properly
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs) especially small ones, are one by one leaving the email service business
- Consumer and business rates for Internet and email services are going up to accommodate the extra traffic and headaches created by spam
- Thieves invade computers through spam and viruses and steal peoples' identity
- And things are getting worse every day as our need and reliance of email grows larger and larger
You may wonder, as Comentum provides email services, why are we identifying GMail as the only trouble free email service provider. This is because some ISPs knowingly block or junk mail legitimate emails while trying to block spam. Comentum provides email services for a small percentage of users compared to GMail.
ISPs who block Comentum's legitimate emails may not feel much concern from their customers since they will be blocking a very small percentage of emails, but if they block or junk mail emails from GMail, they will get a lot of heat from their customers, so these companies will never block emails from GMail.
This is unfortunate, because Comentum has the best reputation of never sending junk email, but there are email services that are knowingly blocking and junk mailing emails originating from our email server.
This is not just happening to Comentum. The same small ISP who blocks Comentum for no reason is being blocked by another ISP for no reason.
I do not recommend a company or organization trying to set up an email server of their own.
If you set up an email server with a small user base, you are very likely going to have a problem sending emails to 10% of users.
Google Apps or GMail is the only email server who is standing tall against Spam, here is why:
- Google GMail is too large to be blocked by other email servers
- Google Gmail does a good job distinguishing between legit and spam emails
- Google Gmail will not reject legit emails or put it into a Spam folder (it would be very rare)
- Google GMail will not reject legit emails from small email servers or small ISPs
- Google GMail does a good job filtering junk email
Is there a way to block 97% of spam email in the world?
Yes - there is a very simple solution to kill 97% of spam. Can you imagine all of your email communications dilemmas going away within six months?
Yes - it is possible. All it takes is the cooperation of all ISPs and email servers to set up a simple rule.
I have the answer - but it is too simple for some IT professionals to understand.
Most IT guys like to write complex algorithms that try to distinguish between the spam and legitimate content. Government agencies are meeting with the largest companies for the answer, expecting that the biggest equals the best, or the more complex the algorithm the better. But that is not always the case.
It's time to wake up and smell the spam
The current system of complex algorithms are not working and the spam is winning the email war.
Bernard Kohan is a mobile app and web application development and technology analyst expert. He is available to discuss any issues or questions you have about web development and the best choices for your company or project.
Bernard can be reached at
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