Spam – Does it affect the web hosting industry??


Spam – Does it affect the web hosting industry??

What exactly is spam/spamming and how does it affect the web hosting industry?

GetNetWise defines spam as unsolicited “junk” e-mail that are sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services, and also refers to inappropriate promotional or commercial postings to discussion groups or bulletin boards.

And because spam can flood systems with unnecessary traffic that could bring down network speed to less than optimal levels, it is of particular concern in the hosting environment.1

There are a number of resources available in the web to prevent or fight spam and spamming. Among these are:
Gossamer Threads Inc. : Hosting: Training your spam filters
How Can I Fix the Problem? — Anti-Relay: Stop Third-Party Mail Relay
HostHideout – Your Spam Solution – spam prevention tips for small businesses

Some highlights:
Switch to mail programs that have spam filters
Don’t give out your address unless you trust the website/recipient
If you have to give out an email address, create one that can be replaced
Don’t unsubscribe from spam that you receive (as most spammers use this to confirm the existence of such an address)
Don’t use generic/free email addresses for business purposes
Don’t forward or reply to chain letters received by email
Don’t sign up ‘Do Not Spam’ lists
Use HTML tricks to make your email address unreadable by automated programs that mine addresses
Program control panel to block spam
create a catchall account where all mail not specifically associated with a real email address can be forwarded
setup a folder setup to receive anything sent to the catchall account
filter from there
Get a high end mail server
Server-side solutions:
Declude JunkMail
IP blocking at mail server
domain blocking at mail server level
IP blocking at the firewall
custom whitelist & blacklist files
Set spam filters
Track spam
use a SPAM-tracking email addresses anytime you have to give an email address
when you receive SPAM, you’ll be able to know from where the address was mined

A number of Internet sites though use the list generated by the Spam Prevention Early Warning System, an anonymous service, of IP address ranges belonging to Internet service providers which host spammers2 to reject mails.

There are mixed reactions to this practice though as seen from the following WebHostingTalk forums:

Why spews its run by a bunch of idiots is it a Menace? You Decide! This could happen to you!

Some anti-spam services and products to consider are:
Spam Arrest
Spam Pal for Windows
SpamAssassinTM mail filter – open source distribution containing Unix-oriented front-end scripts
UsingSpamAssasin — for versions for Windows, commercial versions and other front-ends
Vipul’s Razor – distributed, collaborative, spam detection and filtering network; latest release is 2.40
SpamBully – Bayesian self-learning spam filter