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Stopping your email spamming out and not getting where you sent it

A common problem is you send your email to someone and they do not get it. Well, they in all probability did but spam/unsolicited email filters at your ISP or your installed anti-virus suite or your mail client blocked it or sent it to Junk Mail.

Trigger words/phrases/links in the body of your email

Think of the spam you have received (you would be lucky to never have recieved any) it typically was offer outrageously cheap services or products, free illcit stuff, promises of fortune, share tips etc. Well certain words or phrases contained in an email with a certain frequency or combination will flag an email as SPAM. By using a method called naive Bayesian as a baseline method we can filter out SPAM emails. Bayesian techniques do this by essentially checking against “known bads” and calculating a probability that the email itself is spam, once the threshold is passed than there are actions applied. This detection of “known bads” includes:

  • words – drug names, illicit/seen to be NSFW (not suitable for work) e.g porn, sex, certain trending fraud related words e.g bitcoin, prize

  • phrases – combinations of “tags” or “buy lines” e.g cheap insulin, free trades, free share tips etc

  • inclusion of live links to files or social media etc

If it is high probability then in all likelihood your ISP simply drops it and does not deliver at the email server. If it is lower then it is typically passed to your mail client but quarantined (put in your junk folder) for you to check and then decide whether is it junk or not.

So one of the most common reasons for triggering a SPAM action on your legitimate email is the use of URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in your signature block e.g you provide a clickable link to your website or a social media presence or a logo on a server. One solutions is to “defang it” i.e just leave it as plain text not as an active link URL/hyperlink in your signature block.

If it is a logo then drag/make it load locally from your hard drive and goes live to them attached in the email. If not downloaded from a live webserver link when they open he email it will flag as SPAM.

If it is the first time you are emailing someone for business give them a call on the phone or contact them on your messaging app and say you have sent them an email. Remind them to check their Junk folder and if its in there mark it as not Junk or Spam, this should then set you up as an approved sender. To do this in most email clients…open a context menu (normally right click on the email) select Not Junk or Not Spam and the emails should flow then. It should also move it back into your Inbox in the sort order you are using in your email client typically date and time.

Do these few simple steps can reduce your “lost” communications on email.

Some quick concluding statistics about SPAM

  • The average number of legitimate email messages sent over the internet each day: 22.43 billion. (Talos Intelligence)

  • The kill rate on servers for unsolicited email (SPAM) runs at about 85% plus of all email sent (Spam Laws)

  • Advertising makes up 36% of all world spam content. (Spamlaws)

  • Adult-related content is the second-biggest spam category, accounting for roughly 31.7% of all spam messages. (Spamlaws)

  • 26.5% of all unwanted emails are related to financial matters, the third-biggest spam email category (Spamlaws)

  • For every 12,500,000 emails sent, spammers receive one reply. (TechRadar)

  • Scams and fraud account for about 2.5% of all spam emails. Phishing statistics indicate that identity theft is the goal of 73% of those. (Spamlaws)

  • Email spam costs businesses a whopping $20.5 billion every year. (Radicati Group, Nucleus Research)

  • More spam emails originate from the United States than any other country. (Talos Intelligence)

  • The United States is home to 7 of the world’s top 10 spammers. (Spamhaus)

  • 80% of all spam in North America and Europe is sent by the same 100 spam gangs. (Spamhaus)

  • As many as 85% of all organizations have been targeted by phishing scams in 2021. (Proofpoint, Symantec, Kratikal)

  • Microsoft accounts are the most popular targets of phishing emails, accounting for 43% of all phishing attempts.(Tessian)

  • DHL (18%), Rakuten (4%), IKEA (3%), and Google (2%) also rank high on the list of popular email phishing targets. (Tessian)

  • Fake invoice incidents more than doubled in the first part of 2020 (Tessian)

  • More than 99% of attacks require human interaction to succeed, resulting in malware installation, wire fraud, unwitting data disclosures, and more.(Help Net Security, Proofpoint)

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