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This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 41 ( 1 [2]     
How do you handle spam?
...received from a "reputable" company

 10:14 pm on Apr 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Having just received a series of duplicated and ridiculously large unsolicited mails from an international magazine publisher with some arbitrary promotional material (including 5MB PPT presentations and assorted attachments) my immediate reaction was to fire off an abusive mail to the editor.

Instead I've decided to sleep on this - any suggestions?



 10:37 pm on Apr 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am surprised how we concentrate on the little piece. I run a small senior exec community and recently spam/UCE was the discussion topic.

It turns out businesses' cost of spam per e-mail enabled employee is much higher then most of us thought.

Some might think it is nitpicking, but when you have 10,000 employees and have to manage each one getting 10 spam in a week (if they are lucky), that's big...

more then 70% spends over $10,000/year exclusively on spam related work.

The think tank came up with the following where the costs come in, so you can refer to this when a spammer tells you to "just delete it, it's free".

Sources of expense for spam
firewall time (time it takes to deal with the spam vs. business)
firewall bandwidth on inbound messages
fraction of firewall maintenance

hard disk space on mail server
mail server time (time it takes to deal with the spam vs. business)
bandwidth on inbound messages
bandwidth on bounced messages
hard disk space on mail server
fraction of mail server maintenance

traffic shaping device time
traffic shaping device bandwidth on inbound messages
fraction of traffic shaping device maintenance

virus scanner server time (we scan all public inbound messages)
virus scanner server disk space
fraction of virus scanner server maintenance

LAN bandwidth on inbound messages
LAN bandwidth on outbound messages (requesting drop, or investigating)
Workstation CPU time
Workstation virus scanning time (we also scan on the desktop)
Hard disk space on workstation
Fraction of workstation maintenance
User review time of messages
User research time of messages (is this legit/spam
User training to recognize spam/UCE


 10:45 pm on Apr 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Id sue them :) SPAM is SPAM and I DIDN'T Ask for it, so its cost at my expense. Atleast mail they pay for it all. Maybe the more peopple mail stuff instead of email the spam I wouldnt have to pay so much for stamps to send out my bills and normal letters.


 11:06 pm on Apr 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Having problems sending out email is nothing new. I have a fairly large mailing list (~12,000) that has developed over the past 4 years and I've seen most of the problems mentioned in the two articles you linked.

I can even add a couple he didn't mention.

=> AOL randomly truncated emails with more than 20K of text, when their servers were loaded. I don't know whether this still happens, since I split my newsletter if it runs over 20K.

=> A number of corporate filters will bounce mail if it contains any of the following:
-- an attached "somefile.exe" file OR
-- the NAME "somefile.exe".
-- an Outlook virus attachment, OR
-- the NAME of an Outlook virus
-- the words, "breast", "nude", "naked", or "bikini". (Since my sites deal with pools, spas and pool users, these words occasionally appear. For example, a sentence like: "Many spa users prefer to soak in the nude." will definitely produce bounces.

Regarding the discussion in one article of a mail server that got listed as a spammer, because of a list vandal that signed up a lot of people who did NOT want the email . . . I'll agree that that's a tough isse. In four years of emailing, the one and only time someone seriously accused me of being a spammer, it turned out a husband had signed up using his wife's work address without telling her. And, in one sense, it was: my email to her was "unsolicited" (by her), "bulk" and almost "commercial".

The position of the anti-spam community is now that "opt-in" is not good enough: you must have VERIFIED "opt-in". I'm not sure I agree, but I see their point. Problems with list vandals have increased over time, to the point where if you have a list as large as mine, it become inevitable, unless you go to verified opt-in, using a coded "click for confirmation" link or reply email subject. My own newsletter is on hold, till I can build this capability (and clean addresses that bounce).

There's no question that having to protect against spam causes problems. All forms of security do so. Burglar alarms are a terrible nuisance, but sometimes needed, because burglars are an even worse nuisance.

But I wasn't suggesting that every webmaster can use every technique I use -- most can't -- but rather that some combination of these can produce a (relatively) low cost reduction in spam, which I take to be a good thing.


 11:13 pm on Apr 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Have you considered using a professional company to handle your opt-in mailings? There are a few that will handle all the opt-in and removes without you having to spend your time on it.


 5:16 am on Apr 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yea - score one for the gipper (or whatever that was).

Got an email today from a newsletter that I couldn't turn off. They either bought a list that had "cherry-picked" my site and got all of my auto-responder email address off of it or did it themselves. I was getting 5 of their newsletters to all of those addresses - and unsubscribe? Ha - you know how that goes.

Well, MailWasher WINS....


Your subscription has been held because at least 1 recent messages have been
either bounced by your email system, or could not be delivered at all.

Note that if your email address continues to reject mail your subscription will
once again be "held".

You may want to contact the people responsible for your electronic mail to determine
why your email address has been having trouble.

---For your information, a non-delivery report is included below:/snip/

One down 297 to go..........


 5:42 am on Apr 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am loving MailWasher. Once the rules are in place it is easy to see the Spam and blacklist it straight away. It has cut down my email pruning time considerably.



 6:12 am on Apr 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am withya Woz....time is money and I've saved quite a bit of dough just having this around for a few days. I dreaded clicking on "check email" after being gone for two days, even with my filter list that is two miles long.

No more :)


 12:04 am on Apr 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

<fast-forward a week>

>I dreaded clicking on "check email" after being gone for two days

Yes, the only problem is I'm getting lonely. Email-handling is so routine now that Bill & I were half-serious about posting a few open addresses for the harvesters just to bring in some new blood.

cross-link to this thread, some MW rules listed there
Aggressive Spam Filtering [webmasterworld.com]


 12:38 am on Apr 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

hehe, I know what you mean rcjordan....I miss all the Britney Spears and Anna K. pic updates (not to mention getting my life insurance and mortgage lowered and my septic tank sparkling clean while saving tons of money on printer cartridges).

I had email withdrawal a bit too.


 6:50 am on Apr 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

<crickets chirping in background>

<Bill presses Check Mail button>

<crickets chirping in background>

<Bill presses Check Mail button>


<Bill presses Check Mail button>

<crickets chirping in background>


 3:30 am on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

LOVE it Bill


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