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I’m not sure whether this is an Easter-related thing or not, but the amount of spam missing my ISP’s spam filter and ending up in my inbox seems to have had a sharp rise recently.

In fact, in the last 8 days alone I’ve received 3945 spam messages (3364 caught in my spam box and 581 that made it to my inbox). That’s roughly 500 spams per day on average, with about 70 spams per day in my inbox.

Over the last 20 days (which is when I last cleaned out my spam box) the total is 9028 spam (7901 in the spam box and 1127 in my inbox); about 450 spams per day on average, with about 55 spams per day in my inbox. If I exclude the last 8 days, the numbers become 5083 total (4537 spam box, 546 inbox), 420 spams per day, 45 per day in my inbox. So I’m definitely not just imagining the increase.

I used to wait a month or three before cleaning out my spam box; I don’t want to just indiscriminantly delete everything because there might be some misclassified good email in there (this has happened several times), but on the other hand it’s really painful to wade through the spam box trying to find the rare good email among the piles of crap. With the amount of messages in there at best I can only spend about 1/10th of a second looking at any particular email, and even at that rate it takes way too long to go through the box. (At 100ms each, it’d take me 13 minutes to get through all 7901 messages. And there’s always hesitations where I spend a little bit longer looking at a particular message because it almost looks legit at first glance, so in reality it takes even longer than that.)

The spams to my inbox aren’t quite as bad, strangely enough. While they’re annoying, I usually check my inbox frequently enough that there’s only a few to delete at any given moment (though having said that, about 200 spams suddenly arrived within about five minutes this morning; but it’s not usually that bad). So they never really pile up enough to be more than a nuisance.

I’m not really sure where I should go from here. I can’t see the volume of spam decreasing any time soon (it doesn’t really cost the spammers anything, so why should it?); I don’t want to check my spam box more often (since I’ve got better things to do) and I don’t want to just delete the box and be done with it (since I could miss legit emails that way), but things just can’t go on as they have been. It’s completely nuts.

I think the world needs to agree that spamming is a capital offence. Or (to make the punishment better fit the crime), force spammers to actually read each and every one of the emails they’ve sent out. In any case, Something Has Got To Be Done.

[And with this post, I’ve just broken my one-programming-two-other pattern. Oh well, never mind.]

2 comments to Spam

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