A well maintained antispam system can achieve 90% or greater effectiveness with false positives down under .01% (1 in a 1,000), restoring the usefulness of email (until the latest virus arrives, but that's a subject for another article). While complex, even the issue of dictionary attacks can be addressed through methods such as ā??tar pittingā? where inbound connections requesting unknown addresses can be exponentially slowed until it's blocked for a period of time.
Ultimately though, there is one great weapon against spam which unfortunately may be the toughest to implement, but likely the most effective. Stop buying products and services advertised via spam. Believe it or not, spam exists because there is a market for it. Americans buy "spamvertised" products and visit sites pitched by spammers every day. Imagine 1 million advertisements sent out as spam for a product costing $19.95 and .01% of the recipients (1:1000) respond to the message. Let's assume the spammers profit margin on this product is 30%. This equates to $19,950 in gross revenue with a net margin of $5,985. The cost to the spammer for transmitting 1 million messages is pennies if that much. If nobody purchased the product, spam would disappear due to lack of demand.
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