It appears spam is something that cannot be totally eliminated. Email providers such as Yahoo Mail, Google Mail and Hotmail have been fighting spam right from the very first day they commenced operations. And even though they have recorded some significant successes in previous years, they have not been able to stop spam completely. At the moment, Email providers have teamed up to get rid of the majority of the spam permanently. Before that happens, it looks like users will continue receiving spam in their inboxes even if their email provider has the best spam filter.
Recently Cascade Insights studied the spam blocking abilities of Google Mail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, plus an account that was unfiltered on a web host for the purpose of comparison. They created new email addresses with these email providers and posted them on the web so that spam bots can pick them up. Additionally, the researchers sent replies to email addresses that were spam, and they posted the email addresses openly on Facebook pages that were created specifically for the study.
As time passed, they analyzed the ratio of legitimate to spam emails within the inbox. Mails placed in the spam directories were not analyzed. They countered all emails that entered the inbox that were unsolicited.
It was observed that Hotmail from Microsoft provided the best spam filter. Following closely was Google, while Yahoo Mail plus the email account that was unfiltered took the third and fourth positions respectively.
The percentage of spam email in the Yahoo Mail inbox was about ten percent greater than that of Gmail and Hotmail. The difference between that of Hotmail and Gmail was so insignificant that no one can be persuaded to switch providers because of that. However the results show that Microsoft has somewhat enhanced Hotmail’s spam detection and fighting abilities over the years.
There were certain factors that the study could not control and these were not taken into account. This comprises if and the frequency with which those email addresses were crawled on the websites they were posted, or whether there were disparities in the number of times these email addresses were sold. The results might have been influenced by these factors in some way.
The first company that responded to the outcome of the study was Microsoft. The firm stated that the decline in spam recorded by Hotmail can be attributed to a number of factors, including the SmartScreen technology developed by the company which has brought down to less than three percent, the spam proportion on a standard Hotmail inbox.
The company also confirmed that spam related complaints from customers have decreased by more than forty percent in the previous year, and that in the previous two years, spam related complaints shrunk by more than fifty percent.
Do you think Hotmail provides the best spam filter as suggested by the results of the study carried out by Cascade Insights?