Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where in the World is Carmen Spamdiego?

Spam comes from all over the world. But, like the future, it's not evenly distributed. According to a 2009 security report by Cisco (pdf), the top geographic producers of spam, in trillions of messages per year, are:
  1. Brazil: 7.7
  2. USA: 6.6
  3. India: 3.6
  4. South Korea: 3.1
  5. Turkey: 2.6
  6. Vietnam: 2.5
  7. China: 2.4
  8. Poland: 2.4
  9. Russia: 2.3
  10. Argentina: 1.5
Tired of getting spam that's traveled around the world to reach you? Pobox offers geographic-based filters that lets you block mail from specific countries, or whole continents! They will block all mail from that country or continent, so don't block mail from Europe if you've got a pen pal in Poland or a grandma in Germany. But if your only encounter with South America is eating brazil nuts, you might take a big bite out of your spam by blocking that mail.

"Where's Nigeria?" you might ask, examining this list. Nigeria and other places are the source of many, many email scams, which have been going on much longer than you might suspect. Sometimes known as 419 scams, these are the messages you receive promising you untold millions for a small measure of assistance. There's actually a human being at the other end of these messages, as a story of trickster vs. trickster on This American Life showed. So, the volume tends to be smaller than the bot and zombie-driven traffic of other countries.

Do you represent part of the 6.6 trillion messages coming out of the US this year? OK, you don't if you live anywhere else, but are you part of your country's spam output? Infected PCs are one of the major sources of spam worldwide. Running up-to-date anti-virus software (or avoiding a virus in the first place) is the best way to make sure you're not part of the problem. "But, Vanessa, anti-virus software is so expensive!" Not so, my friends. Immunet is now offering free anti-virus software, so go download it today.

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