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MikeJT

Amazing reduction in Spam

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After weeks and hours each day reporting spam with zero result, I decided to chuck it all in and not report.... simply hit the "junk" button.

RESULT: An amazing reduction in spam within a day ot two. My Email statisctics say it all....Junk email was 64% last week, and 47% this week, and it is still on the way down.... 16 messages yersterday, 4 today. I almost feel lonely in my mailbox!!!!

PLUS, I was getting the same spam messages from the same sources on a daily basis for weeks, despite all the reprting I as doing. These have stopped instantly.

I'm sure all the "experts" will have a opinion, but I think the results speak for themselves.

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Although the increase (or decrease) of spam happens for no known reason (except to the spammers), I suspect that spammers do automatically send more spam if they get a spamcop report - in fact they automatically send spam to every email address in the headers. Sometimes a decrease happens because the list got sold to a new spammer and there is hiatus before they start using it.

However, your 'evidence' is not conclusive. You might have coincidently started your experiment at the same time your ISP tried new filtering techniques (another cause of sudden decrease in amount of spam received). Many people report sudden decreases for no reason at all, no known changes on their part while others, at the same time, report no change in volume or increases.

Reporting primarily feeds the scbl. It doesn't pretend to reduce spam in your inbox (unless you find a responsive ISP which is harder and harder to find since most responsible ISPs have instituted ways to prevent spammers).

Miss Betsy

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Although the increase (or decrease) of spam happens for no known reason (except to the spammers), I suspect that spammers do automatically send more spam if they get a spamcop report - in fact they automatically send spam to every email address in the headers.

Seems to support what I suspected...... and certainly by the level and type of spam I was receiving while reporting.

Sometimes a decrease happens because the list got sold to a new spammer and there is hiatus before they start using it.

However, your 'evidence' is not conclusive. You might have coincidently started your experiment at the same time your ISP tried new filtering techniques (another cause of sudden decrease in amount of spam received). Many people report sudden decreases for no reason at all, no known changes on their part while others, at the same time, report no change in volume or increases.

Here we go...... this list could be endless.

OR, could it be that I stopped reporting. Yes thinks I. It is ust too concidental... nothing else has changed in my habits.

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...OR, could it be that I stopped reporting. Yes thinks I. It is ust too concidental... nothing else has changed in my habits.
As I've said "here" to others, I hope for your sake you are correct. It's just, in the longer term, it seems the spam comes in waves, like nausea. I've said that before too (or words to that effect). No one has come back, months later, to tell me "Boy, were you ever wrong!. I'm still fairly-much spam-free!" I prefer to hope that's not because it wasn't so, that it's just because they remain in such a transport of careless joy they simply haven't made it back to tell. No, I'm not being sarcastic, I really do wish that was the answer. But somehow ...

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could it be that I stopped reporting. Yes thinks I. It is ust too concidental... nothing else has changed in my habits.

Like Farelf I hope you're correct but I'm not readily persuaded...

Would you undertake to return in a week and then a month and update the statistics you gather so we can see whether there is a true pattern developing or just a momentary pleasant lull in the junk reaching you?

Please?

Andrew

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I am willing to bet 5:1 that the spam will come back in even higher quantities!

OK, a week has gone by, and I can report that so far so good. From previous levels while I was reporting spam, the spam on a daily basis is between 30-40% less. Another change I have noticed is that the spam I am now receiving is more "random". While reporting every day I was receiving a lot of spam from a fixed number of spammers, and no matter how many times I reported they just kept on spamming. These have now dissapeared at exactly the ame time I stopped reporting. As some have suggested, I suspected that this may have been just a temporary lull, but too many of these different spammers to be coincidental in my opinion.

OK, will wait and see how things go over the next few weeks. In the meantime am enjoying a less cluttered mailbox and the extra time I have as a result of not reporting spam.

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OK, will wait and see how things go over the next few weeks. In the meantime am enjoying a less cluttered mailbox and the extra time I have as a result of not reporting spam.
...I, too, have seen a marked reduction in the number of spam e-mails I've received at work during the past two weeks relative to previously. However, the spam I receive at my Yahoo!Mail account seems only slightly diminished, if at all. My guess is that my employer's e-mail admins have greatly improved their spam filtering. I haven't changed my reporting tactics at all -- I report all spam I receive except that which is too old on Monday when I come into work; I report the spam I receive at my Yahoo!Mail account periodically but infrequently (most of it just gets deleted).

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OK, a week has gone by, and I can report that so far so good. From previous levels while I was reporting spam, the spam on a daily basis is between 30-40% less. Another change I have noticed is that the spam I am now receiving is more "random". While reporting every day I was receiving a lot of spam from a fixed number of spammers, and no matter how many times I reported they just kept on spamming. These have now disappeared at exactly the same time I stopped reporting. As some have suggested, I suspected that this may have been just a temporary lull, but too many of these different spammers to be coincidental in my opinion.

OK, will wait and see how things go over the next few weeks. In the meantime am enjoying a less cluttered mailbox and the extra time I have as a result of not reporting spam.

Hi Mike,

In order to complete your checking, perhaps you need to start again reporting spam and then report back whether the number of spam emails received goes back up. Otherwise you have not proved cause and effect between the drop in numbers following cessation of reporting, it could be just a coincidence.

Could it not be that your reporting brought an end to the spam, eventually, rather than your cessation of reporting, although the latter was closer in time?

Paul

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Those of us who have reported long enough have seen spam go in cycles. After a big drop it eventually picks up at a more aggressive rate, reporting or not. Also, we still don't know if Mike's ISP has implemented an aggressive filtering that he may not even be aware of.

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An alternate view: To come to the conclusion that the level of spam you receive (high or low) is related to your reporting is IMHO rather egocentric - if scbl is not being used. (This is not a flame :blush: )

For spamming to be a money making business, a spammer must us lists of 1,000s, if not 100,000s, of addresses. There are 100s, if not 1,000s, of spammers.

To see a correlation between your reporting and the level of spam you receive all of the spammers must see your change and change themselves.

So you stop reporting and 100s of spammers all say 'Look MikeTJ isn't reporting us any more so lets wash our list (added cost, less income) and stop harassing him.' = It must be harassment since anyone that reports spam has a 0 chance of clicking through on a spam.

Analogies are bad if pushed to hard but: You spend the day standing on the seashore throwing rocks into to waves. After throwing rocks for several hours you notice that the water is now up around your ankles. Your arm is tired so you take a rest and notice that the water level goes down. Is the water level related to how many rock you through into the ocean?

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Alternate view from Pop in the newsgroup thread 'NG archives + future of sc'

As a several-year veteran of the free user service though, I'd

like to suggest that there IS some, probably very small to negligible in

most cases, of reporting one's own spam.

In my case, it seems to make a noticeable difference. As my ISP came and

went over the years, I'd use going to a new ISP as an excuse to stop

reporting spam on the old account, plus I've made little "tests" of going

for periods of a few months at a time without reporting spam.

I'm only relating my own experience here, but when I don't report spam

for a period of time, it does increase.

He goes on to describe the kinds of tests he does. And now that he has mentioned, I think I have heard others say the same thing. My guess is that the hard core spammers who really make money do tend to listwash. There is another bunch of wannaberich who try the spam package they buy for a couple of times, but then drop out because it doesn't work or their ISP closes them down. JHD does not diminish spam, but it doesn't seem to increase as drastically as when one starts reporting. I haven't had time to do tests to find out if my guesses are anywhere near correct. (it would be interesting to see if the type of spam received on the weekends are the types sold as part of a spam package to wannaberich)

Miss Betsy

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Dawn breaks at Marblehead.

It occurred to me that I have been running an experiment for the last year and recording the results. Yes, my geekdom is showing. Out so sheer meanness I had my ISP turn off all spam filters for my domain. It took several weeks/months to get them all. seems no one knows about them all.

I have been keeping a spreadsheet of ~30 days of daly valid email and spam counts. Also keeping track of monthly totals for email, spam and viruses.

I report to spamcop spam that fall into 5 categories: Software, drugs, stocks, phishing and others. categories were picked mostly for direct reporting to MicroSoft, FDA, sec.gov etc. "Others" are just that. Mostly ones that have Return Recite, ones I just don't like, ones addressed to a business I closed 4 yrs ago, ones from those companies in FL, NV, AZ ... and viruses.

I don't bother to report sex, casinos, loans as identifiable categories. No be cause child porn is not important but, because.

It would have been nice (now) if I knew how many in each category had been reported but that would have been harder. I used Norton Internet Security to ID and count. I make minor corrections, categorize and report.

Results: total spam has been fairly constant over the last 9 months. Low of 3514 high of 5077 average 4848. Actually in 2 block, before and after another ISP's filter was found. Virus count has been more random with a monthly totals of 0 to 43. last counts 10, 7, 0, 1, 23 and 18 MyDoom and MyTob so far this month.

the % of what I report I don't think has changed much. With the exception of SW piracy I have not noticed a real change in any of the categories reported. In August I reported about 30 SW piracy spam and only 1 this month. When I started I was getting 4-5 a day, that's what started me on this gig.

Virus count is generally down as is SW piracy spam. There seems to be two or three companies doing the SW thing and it seems to be clumpy. Overall count seems flat as does the offers for stocks, morgages, viagra and 'need to fix my American Express account.' Like static, it keeps changing but stays about the same.

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Since you have already started, you can add a column for spamcop reporting and manual reports to ISPs (reports to FDA, etc. should not result in either more spam or less spam).

Then you could see if a certain category increases with reports or decreases. Probably you should keep a baseline for a month without doing any reporting. Then start reporting certain categories and see whether it goes up or down after a month. (although the already existing spreadsheet doesn't count since you don't know which ones were reported, it does show the 'static' effect of spam).

Although I am not a geek and don't have the time or patience to keep a spreadsheet going, I think it is fascinating when someone else does it! (particularly when it supports my intuitive 'guesses' <g>)

Miss Betsy

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Although I am not a geek and don't have the time or patience to keep a spreadsheet going, I think it is fascinating when someone else does it! (particularly when it supports my intuitive 'guesses' <g>)

Take a gander at my statistics then. All done automagically in real time. :P

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...don't have the time or patience to keep a spreadsheet going... (particularly when it supports my intuitive 'guesses' <g>)

Me either really. The counting that I have done is really done by Norton Internet Security. It counts the spam and keeps a list of the viruses received. Once a month I copy the info to the spreadsheet and reset the counters. keeping track of the categories during the day as I report then is more than I want to do.

I started keeping track of the daily counts (really month to date) to see if the day of the week, time of month made any difference. It didn't. The daily count stays within 15% of the daily average for the month.

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OK, for an update.

As mentioned previously I have stopped reporting and as a result notice a drop in the number and type of spam. The reduction continues, and my average over the past week was 7.3 spam/day, which is down from approx. 30 when I was reporting. :blush:

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... an update.
Thanks Mike, that certainly confirms a lasting change, outside of the "waves" pattern we see all too often. As for cause and effect - well, you nominated that and no contrary evidence has yet been presented the way I see it.

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MikeJT you have started a thread that I can't get out of the back of my head. So as Miss Betsy suggested I have added "a couple" of columns to my spam spread sheet. When I figure out how to get the charts out of my cheap a** spread sheet onto the web I will pass the link.

What we currently have is a years (Aug 05 - Sep 06) monthly count of email, spam and viruses received.

What we're adding is a daily count of spam in 6 categories. The first four categories are based on reporting in addition to reporting to spamcop. The fifth category is spam reported to spamcop only. These are personal whims and dislikes, for example spam with a virus, with Return Recite, spam from those companies in FL, UT,NY, etc. (professional looking spam), spam I just don't like. Not well defined I know.

The 6 categories are 1) Cheap Software, 2) Drugs (Viagra, etc. _Not_ HGH nor "natural" supplements nor things not regulated by FDA), 3) Stocks (all those OTC Pump and Dump hipes), 4) Phishing, 5) Ones I don't like, 6) spam not reported (mood rings, mortgages, MLM and other get rich quicks).

So today, the first of the month, I am stopping reporting to spamcop. If MikeJT's experience is not unique, during the month we should see a decline in the total number of daily spam from the 140 - 175 per day I have been receiving.

So the fun begins

Lou

Edited by Lking

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MikeJT you have started a thread that I can't get out of the back of my head. So as Miss Betsy suggested I have added "a couple" of columns to my spam spread sheet. When I figure out how to get the charts out of my cheap a** spread sheet onto the web I will pass the link.

So the link to my spam graphs is http://www.knob.com/spam/

At this time I do not see the "MikeJT" effect. Mike I don't mean to flame you or personalize this, but I don't know what else to call it. I may update the graphs daily.

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I wouldn't think MikeJT would be insulted to have an 'effect' named after him! How many times in a lifetime does one have something named after them?

And thanks for the graph!

Miss Betsy

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At this time I do not see the "MikeJT" effect.

What? You mean there's been no "amazing reduction in spam within a day ot two"? How surprising....not. Keep us posted.

DT

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What? You mean there's been no "amazing reduction in spam within a day ot two"? How surprising....not. Keep us posted.

I am updating http://www.knob.com/spam/ before I go to bed or first thing in the a.m. depending on when/where I fall asleep <g> "Surprise," no but needed an other antidote to differentiate between antidotal evidence and datum.

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How do you do that???

Do what?

2 of 3 times a day I categorize the received spam, count them and put the numbers in a spreadsheet (thats what I started with).

Daily take that data and put it in a MS word object and save that as "HTML". My old copy of word writes bad html but the process saves the graphs as *.gif files. I them move the .gifs to the www.

Is that what you ask?

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