Why I've started to receive spam or lists of email addresses?
Problems of spam usual users begin to face at the moment when his/her email address gets to the spammers’ database. There are many different ways in which spammers get emails addresses. Some of them are:
• Your email address has been posted on a public website, for example, on the forum, in the classifieds, on social networks, chats, comments, on your personal webpage etc. Your email could be posted by any of your friends or acquaintances. Spammers do use special programs – robots to automatic website scan and gather huge databases of email addresses, which may be used for the further spam sending. Some companies only gather addresses and then sell them.
• Your e-mail address consists not of a unique word, but for example, of a widespread name which can be easily found with the use of dictionary. Spammers have special dictionaries including simple words, people’s names, names of geographical objects and some most popular combinations of a network slang. Combining this dictionary with the list of domain names (openly published), spammers receive the list of addresses for mailing, which then are simply checked by the special program-validator on their existence. Such method is often called “dictionary attack”.
• There is a theory that some users receive more spam, then the others. It happens by the reason that spammers usually use so called „dictionary attack” trying all the words from the dictionary as an e-mail address at a given domain. Therefore for e-mail addresses starting with "А", "М", "R", "P" or "S" more than 40% of incoming letters is spam, most lucky users whose e-mail addresses start with "Q", "Y" or "Z" receive only 20%. However, this theory does not explain why users with “U” receive the most amount of spam – up to 50%.
• You are the client of a company or have been registered on a website where the database of users (clients) has been stolen or even sold to spammers by employees of the company.
• For e-mail gathering vulnerabilities in various versions of widespread software are used. Without the consent of the user the harmful program (backdoor) can be installed on the computer. Afterwards the remote access for malefactors is established. Such programs basically are distributed through often visited websites.
• Most frequently a method of analogies for gathering e-mail addresses is used. If you have several mail boxes with the identical user name, for example, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and if one of them gets to spammers, most likely other addresses, with the same user name, also will be included in the spam list.
• Registration on doubtful websites also increases probability of spam reception.
• You casually have received a spam letter, replied to it or followed the provided URL to “unsubscribe”. These actions have confirmed your e-mail address as active in the spammers’ database.
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